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The Day After

(Writing in haste because I'm packing for a flight home.)

So: we wake up the morning after the US election to discover ... what?

Here's my short term prediction, followed by my long term prediction. (And if you are American, I'm very, very, sorry.)

Next couple of months: Obama exits. People will feel a strange sad fondness for the utopian era of good governance. (In time, the past 8 years will seem surrounded by a rosy glow, as of Camelot during the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; they will even come to think kindly of George W. Bush.)

Here's the facile, obvious version:

Trump will have to be painfully educated that the office of POTUS is not a CEO's desk where he can rule by decree, but the head of a 400-person executive team who interact with other agencies and negotiate to get results. The hairpiece that walks like a man won't like that. In fact, he'll sulk, and probably retire to his golf course and leave running the USA to Vice President Pence, a man who seems to think that The Handmaid's Tale was a road map rather than a dystopia, and the likes of Rudy Giuliani (about whom the less said, the better). It'll be four years of the ugly old white male phobes running the federal government, and only the huge inertia built into the system of checks and balances will prevent it from being a total fright-fest as opposed to a major throwback fright-fest. In the mid-terms of 2018 the Democrats will pick up votes and hopefully re-take the Senate, which will put a brake on Trump ... and in 2020, who knows?

But this may not happen, because the airliner of reality which we all ride in has flown straight into a flock of migrating black swans, both engines have flamed out, and that's not the Hudson River down below. (Also? We now have Donald Trump at the controls.)

I'm calling it for the next global financial crisis to hit before the 2018 mid-terms. Neither Trump nor Pence are far-sighted enough to realize that the USA is not a corporation and can't be run like one, and that on the macro scale economics is difficult and different from anything they have any experience of. They will, to put it bluntly, screw the pooch—aided by the gibbering chorus of Brexiteers across the pond, who are desperately trying to ensure that the British economy and banking sector commit seppuku in the name of limiting immigration. We've already seen Sterling crash, and continue to crash; what happens when the Dollar joins it? Quantitative easing can only stretch so far before we break out in hyperinflation due to basic commodities getting scarce (as witness the 5-20% food price inflation working its way through the UK's supply chain in defiance of the structural deflationary regime enforced by the supermarkets for the past two decades).

It's going to be a flaming dumpster fire that someone has just crashed an airliner on top of. Even if Trump doesn't fuck shit up by invading Paraguay, starting a land war in Asia, breaking the agreements on climate change, and disenfranchising women, democrats, and anyone who doesn't lick his arse. The only question is how far the fire will spread.

Next up: the French presidential election next summer stands a good chance of electing Marine le Pen, an out-of-the-closet fascist. And Angela Merkel is up for re-election. Seeing Angela Merkel as the defender of the free world is kind of weird, but that's where we're going, at least until the AfD find a suitably charismatic Hitler 2.0 to elect Chancellor in her place.

Why am I so pessimistic this morning? Because of the long term big picture ...

Global demographics are changing and we're seeing the first big migrations triggered by climate change. The aging, shrinking demographic of angry white racists in the USA were energized by Trump, and the fear of losing their locked-in privilege. Over the next 20 years they're going to die out and pass on and the USA will return to its progressive trajectory, assuming there still is a USA after the drunk-driving hellride that this catastrophic fender-bender of an election campaign has led up to. But elsewhere? Europe is going through the same angry white racist awakening due to the Mediterranean migration crisis—photos of drowned babies on beaches stay in the public mind for a couple of days, but the nice Mr Mohammed who runs the corner shop at the end of the street is a constant reminder and irritant to the inner bigot—and the population bubble is still inflating in parts of Africa.

The asshats are going to get louder and angrier before they die out, and because of modern medicine they're going to live a lot longer than their parents generation; the boomers may still be around and voting in their 90s, and the fascists will happily ride to victory on their ballot-box bigotry.

On a personal note: thanks, reality, for fucking over one of my novels again. The crappy surveillance-state America in 2020 that I designed in 2013 for my next novel, "Empire Games" (which comes out the day before Trump's inauguration, due to delays beyond my control—it was originally due out in 2015) is now looking kind of mild and utopian. Luckily it's set in a parallel universe so I don't have to worry about re-writing it because I can't re-write it because it's due at the printer right about now.

I think I'm going to give up on writing near-future SF, unless it's to go for the most ghastly crapsack shitlord-ruled dystopia I can imagine. (Key phrases for our grim meathook future: "voting qualifications", "permanent transferrable employee record", "beta males get the elastrator if they don't shape up", "corrective rape".) Instead, I'm going to switch to high fantasy and far-future space opera, where reality can't knee me in the balls and maybe I can help some folks with their reality-induced depression issues.

And 2016 is fired for gross misconduct in office.



The last time I felt so shocked and stunned by something which happened in the USA, it was September 12, 2001 (Australian time). The planes had hit, and to quote Yeats, "all changed, changed utterly". But instead of a terrible beauty, what was born was a terror, far from any pretensions of beauty at all.

This feels much the same.

It's the same overall feeling of "what the hells happened?" The same overall feeling of "why the fsck did you do that?"

And the same question of "what's going to happen next, and can I survive this?"


As Hunter Thompson said in 1972: "This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."


I fear Pence more than I fear Trump.

Pence will probably end up running the country.


It is going to be completely unbearable when we get the inevitable "Trump Regret" from some of his supporters down the line, especially the Nice Exurban White People. "I was just voting for change and to make America great again - I didn't want a crook and all those nasty laws passed by the religious nuts!" This just makes me so angry.

It's going to be so much fun trying to assemble a Democratic campaign in the face of Republican vote suppression going forward, overseen by judges appointed by Republicans in Congress. And being in America, having a hard-right Supreme Court can really screw over progressive reforms for years and even decades (just look at the Court in the early 20th century before the late 1930s). Women's reproductive rights will be the first casualty.


Not what I expected, even if I'm a strong believer in idiotcracy.

The turkeys happily voted for Christmas in England, for thanksgiving in USA and I pray they don't vote for Noël in France (I'm french and my wife is jew).


The aging, shrinking demographic of angry white racists in the USA were energized by Trump, and the fear of losing their locked-in privilege.

This is real but I think very exaggerated. Especially (from what I can tell from the people on this blog) when funneled through the typical news outlets. I suspect the news of the US in Europe and other areas outside of North America get summarized to death. Or at least to the point where nuance and details are totally lost.

The polls got it so very wrong. From what I understand with Brexit the polls in the UK were a bit off. On Trump they were off by miles. Hatred of HC and throw the bums out got all kinds of people to the polls. (HC is considered by many (left and right) to be a member of the "bums".)

The biggest issue was that (as mentioned) many many voters went with "throw the bums out". Enough to make a difference in many many states. To these people HC was just plain worse. Which is a scary thought.

Also a lot of people just refused to believe all of the bad things about him because that would make them look at the other choice. And they just could not do that. (When liberal cable news commentators keep saying HC is her own worst enemy you know it's not a good thing.)

Now it starts to get weird. There are active lawsuits against him. Going to trial before the end of the year. Does the sitting (or soon to be so) President take the stand? If he looses does he get to pardon himself? Or ???


OP: As an American, I'm very, very sorry.

I was hoping that we collectively had more sense, but we were f'ed by our milquetoast response to Republican efforts to roll back civil rights and suppress voters.

Structural racism probably just killed the United States. We couldn't overcome our major founding sins.


If Pence has any sense, Trump won't survive to take office and the mechanism of Trump's death will be used as an excuse for martial law. (Can't actually repeal the Reconstruction Amendments and the 19th Amendment, can make them irrelevant. And that is what Pence wants.)

Given that no one in a position of power seems able to deal with any of the actual problems, well, 2016 very probably was the last normal year. Everything from here on gets less good. There remains virtue in striving to exhibit decency.


Now I have some sense of how the Remain voters felt . . . but this is MUCH worse.


There are two things here.

First, maybe you should fear Paul Ryan more. The Republicans have been turning into a party of extremist ideas, and have been able to get away with it because Obama vetoed the crazy. The Republican Grand Slam (President, House, Senate and Court) means that the only thing stopping the Tea Party is Republicans - do you think they will?

Second, maybe you should fear Trump after all. In a crisis, power reverts to the president. If a 9/11 or Global Financial Crisis comes along, he is at the controls. Him and his appointees (remember Hurricane Katrina?).


It's going to be good news economically for NZ, as we pick up a decent number of educated, working-age refugees from the US, just as we did when Bush II got in.


Also, being a long way from anywhere seems like a good idea when you have a man with no impulse control in charge of thousands of nuclear weapons.


David L: "Does the sitting (or soon to be so) President take the stand? If he looses does he get to pardon himself?"

The precedent from Clinton v. Jones is that a civil suit against the president can go forward. While that case never went to trial, it did have lead to a president testifying at a deposition.

A pardon isn't going to be a factor here as AFAIK Trump doesn't face any federal criminal cases.


And 2016 is fired for gross misconduct in office.



Hillary Clinton Pulls Plug On Election Night Fireworks TMZ, 7th Nov 2016

That last Wikileak push broke the will of something still wanting to believe that reform was possible and the screaming insanity of the hyper-reality could be overcome. Last week swing. And the 'good guys' mucked it up, full CTR / Spin, unprepared for the internet world.

Obligatory, since you'll see it referenced a million times in the next three days: The American Dream YT: Film, Watchmen 2:53

Still, people should probably look up the myth of Atum; not sure the Ones who wanted to Win it All quite know what they're in for, but there we go.


Off to see a Wizard; prognosis - Branded Traitor. And yes, this is a new name and has tiny trace on search engines (three entries, last check). There's a reason for that.

Good Night And Good Luck YT: Film: 2:15


In principle, Presidents are immune to civil suits while President but not criminal charges. In practice, the election result is the product of mass defiance of court orders. It's going to stand, so you can safely suppose that the rule of law does not apply.

I think Patton Oswalt got it with respect to what happened -- "What I've learned so far tonight: America is WAAAAAAAAY more sexist than it is racist. And it's pretty fucking racist."


Don't confuse the angry, loud racists with the angry, quiet racists.

I grew up in a white, working-class, rural, post-manufacturing community.

Those are the districts that came out in force. The district I grew up in, was one of the two that the majority voted for Trump in an otherwise solid blue state.

"Throw the bums out" has always been code for rewinding history, making sure that "good, solid Americans" were elected instead of those "urban ".

Clinton was only seen as one of the bums because her and her husband were seen as doing more for "them" than for "us".

Voting for Republicans was the way those communities made sure "they" got screwed more than "us".

Now I need to go find a bucket of mind-bleach to get out of that unpleasant mindset.


If you think that, you should really read "On The Beach" by Neville Shute. Personally, I'm too depressed to re-read it.


Sorry, forgot Movable Type parses HTML.

End of fifth sentence should be: "urban <insert slur that is so common it is not recognizable as a slur until you move elsewhere' here>"


While I agree with that, I was even more scared of Clinton attempting to portray herself as a strong president by 'standing up against Russia' in Syria, and following up with even more aggression when that failed. Her position on other foreign policy aspects is as loathesome as Trump's on Mexicans, too - e.g. she is a strong supporter of Saudi Arabia and viciously anti-Palestinian. But, as you imply, what I am really dreading is someone assassinating Trump (not that I would regret his demise as such).

And, bluntly, I can't see any path to ANY improvement, globally, until the juggernaut that is the USA military-industrial machine is derailed, and Trump might just put the first stick in its spokes. So there is light in the darkest cloud, though it may only be lightning :-(


Take it from Serbia. All predictions are off. Our PM was nationalist war monger with deeply rooted hatred for everything western. Now, he is EUvangelist, he is bringing Arab investors, he is negotiating with Kosovo government. I do think that he have some deep psychological issues and that he is not fit to run a country but what he do as PM is vastly different from his initial campaign and from 20 years of political career.

I think that Trump will take similar route. He is aware that his is unable to run a country so he will ask for all help he can get. He is a showman and what he did for elections was just a show aimed to majority of voters (unfortunately that majority is uneducated, ignorant and full of many different fears). He will take 180 degrees turn when he enters the office. I am optimist because he is a businessman above all. Politicians are driven by power and they use fear to stay in power. Businessmen are driven by money and money is fueled with optimism.


And, bluntly, I can't see any path to ANY improvement, globally, until the juggernaut that is the USA military-industrial machine is derailed, and Trump might just put the first stick in its spokes.

If Trump runs the country like he ran his business, it'll be bankrupt by 2019, at which point he will do a deal giving control of the country to China in return for paying no taxes for the rest of his life and the country changing its name to The Donald J Trump United States of America.


Nevil Shute didn't have the advantage of global circulation models - in the event of Armageddon, almost all fallout will start in the Northern Hemisphere and stay there. NZ's biggest health problem will be the almost complete lack of pharmaceuticals.

But the American Century is already ending and with a whimper not a bang. NZ already exports 50% more to China than the US, so Trump's proposed trade barriers are getting less important to us by the day. And hey, I hear the UK is looking for trade partners...


All in all, I'm just glad neither myself nor my sister (who lives in the US) have children.

In the mid-terms of 2018 the Democrats will pick up votes and hopefully re-take the Senate

Not very likely -- there are only 8 republican seats in play versus 23 (+2 "independant") democrat seats.


You got it. And when that's the most optimistic scenario that seems plausible, it's thoroughly depressing :-(


Loath as I am to disagree with OGH, I fear I must do so now. The current immigration problems are not caused by climate change and the agricultural problems caused thereof, but by religious-political problems aggravated by oil.

Watch where the economic migrants are going, and where they're not going. If I was being pushed off land by climatic changes, I'd be wanting to keep my business going but I'd want somewhere more conducive to farming. Africa would be top of the list, since if you know what you're about and if you have access to modern machinery, fertilisers and pesticides then a tropical climate is paradise for a farmer.

Zimbabwe used to be a shining exemplar of this, before Mugabe ruined it; Zimbabwean white farmers very definitely knew what they were doing and were doing so very successfully indeed, and making themselves and their government rich in the process.

However, you will note that the Middle Eastern migrants aren't heading to the land of working-for-opportunity. Nor are they heading to Russia where they'd be welcomed with open arms (by the Russian Army). No, they're heading to Europe, where you get paid simply for existing and nobody is looking to conscript you into the army or make you work for a living.

These aren't climate change migrants. These are economic refugees, out for the best deal they can find for no outlay on their part, without having to work for it. When they get to Europe, these lot are going to be trouble when the locals turn out not to like them and the free handouts turn out not to be so great after all.

Next up: the French presidential election next summer stands a good chance of electing Marine le Pen, an out-of-the-closet fascist.

Almost impossible.

The math is simple -- In the first round Marine may get more than the 6 million odd she got last time, but to win she will need to pick up another 7-8 million votes, and where will she get them from? It's theoretically possible in case of a Marine/Hollande second round but that will never happen -- it's going to be Marine/(Juppe|Sarkozy) and no way will the people who usually vote centre/left vote for La Pen -- many will abstain, but enough of them will vote for the non-Marine candidate to ruin her chances.


I would agree if "The Donald" was not a very bad businessman. If you'd inherited the same capital as he did, and invested the entire sum in a Dow Jones tracker fund, you'd now be richer than he is!


Take it from someone who was in Serbia during Milosevic and who followed this US election, it is not remotely the same. Serbia nationalists were "normalized" by EU more and US pressure. US is less likely to be pressured outside. Too big and powerful and EU has its own problems. Also Trump makes Nikolic looks like a President. The guy can't put a sentence together, the whole thing is a compete mess and people are still trying to find a reason within. My guess is that there is no anger behind this. It is pure games and entertainment for masses that think that voting is TV show. I see the same regret as after brexit ("what? that voting was for real?").

This is an ok sign for all the right-wing populists (and rapists) everywhere, it will spread. Regarding CS prediction, I sincerely hope that the system is too inert to roll down the hill to the point of no return.


What about the climate agreements? Republicans have everything, there will be no breaks on carbon emission, they want economy rolling. If this would mess only US, it would be great. Problem is that world relies on US.


Even if Trump doesn't fuck shit up by invading Paraguay, starting a land war in Asia, breaking the agreements on climate change, and disenfranchising women, democrats, and anyone who doesn't lick his arse. Except that, if he possibly can, he will. Especially the internal bearing down on opposition. After all, Putin paid for & won this election - he will surely give Trump some lessons in rigging a fake democracy up?

One small benefit, temporarily at least. Farage might go & help Trumpolini run is semi-fascist christian state?

Also, this might, actually put the kibosh on Brexit ... (?)


A possibility I forgot:

If the lawsuits against Trump hold water, the republican machine can use it as an excuse to throw him under the bus; wait for him to lose a child rape case or something, then impeach him fastidiously and put Pence in the White House while reshuffling the deck so that Republican "normality" can reassert itself overt the guy riding the out of control steam roller of rage.


Yes, Pence & all the delightful christians. Expect a serious oppression of Women's rights.

BTW - I have not yet read below comment#3 - SUPREME COURT appointments. It's back to Judge Jefferies folks - shudder.


As I have said elsewhere and before, I am minded to quote the late Sir Robert Walpole..."They are ringing the bells now, soon they will be wringing their hands."


Newsflash, mainstream Republicans tried to hoist him down. It didn't go well. Child rape case was dropped, she gave up because of the death threat.


Wikileaks - yeah Assange is almost certainly in Putin's pay. NOT a "conspiracy" theory, simply what used to be called: "Realpolitik" UIgggg


No need for that: Trump's hamstrung by next week's criminal prosecution for sexual assault - the first of several, and one of them involves the statutory rape of an underage girl.

He'll probably make it to the Inauguration.

Meanwhile, Pence is the guy who goes up the Hill to get shit done in the House: he doesn't have a lot of friends there, but the Christian Right will work with him.

He may well end up holding the power of the Presidency with none of the accountability.


Not actually true; the myth that Europe is some kind of shirker's paradise is widely believed by the American right but isn't actually true.


That might actually be worse, though. Nice little christian Pence, picking all the new Supreme Court judges ....


I didn't say the voters were being rational. Basically many of them (and I run into many somewhat frequently) were willing to crash the bus if that's what it take to change the driver. Then think about what that means after the crash.


This is the first time I have felt sick watching an election coverage. Now I'm wondering if a civilization can engineer it's own outside context problem.


Charlie Stross, I love your blog posts. But I suspect things will go a bit differently:

I don't like Trump, I don't think he's going to be a good president as such, but he is apparently shrewd or clever enough to know how to effectively game the system, play people in power/money against themselves and to his advantage, bribe and/or blackmail people, and on top of that he apparently is very good at manipulating the electorate.

I think we'll see a lot of Silvio-Berlusconi-style cronyism, where Trump will continue to shovel other peoples' money into his own coffers (in the style he has during the campaign), he's probably not going to increase his own tax rate either, he will use politics to thwart any legal action against him, and change laws if necessary. He might also fulfill his threat and go after the press/media. And all that won't matter for his reelection (see Berlusconi) because all he needs to do is make his voters feel (that America is becoming) great again. And he can do that by kicking Mexico, China, Europe etc. where it hurts. A few bombs in Syria, a few laws (and a wall) against Mexico, acting like a bull in a China shop in a few G7/G20 conferences will be enough.

If you think there is a "better part" of the GOP who won't let him do that: I think he has considerable leverage. For example, I understand that he can appoint the SCOTUS judges in person? So that means that he can demand of the GOP in return for appoiting a right-leaning judge.

I know a bit about social research (had to delve into it for my degree). I don't claim full knowledge, but I'm quite sure that we haven't really understood yet why people vote Brexit/Trump/AfD/Front National. The narrative of the old white male voter probably has something to do with it, but it can't be all. But what I know is: Donald Trump is ruthless, and that will go a long way. I don't believe that this will be over in 4 years.


"Assange is almost certainly in Putin's pay."

There is NO evidence of a link, and ample reasons for Assange to loathe Clinton - she was SoS at the time that the attempt was made to extradict Assange, and there are damn good reasons to believe the latter's claim that the Swedes were being used as a front to get him into the USA to face a kangaroo court.

Yes, he is an arsehole, but I thought that you had enough sense to see through the Fox News (and related warmongering) propaganda. We are close enough to a world war as it is - don't help the people who want to push us into one.


My greatest fear is that this isn't as bad as it gets. In an earlier thread we were talking about Structured Deindustrialisation, large-scale unemployment and the resulting unrest. I'm not talking about the outcomes of a Trump presidency, I'm talking about the factors leading up to a Trump presidency from 1970 onwards (and also to Brexit).

There are lots of angry, financially disenfranchised white people who perceive that their standard of living has declined in the long term. That's counter to the promise of the American dream, counter even to the promise of capitalism, and certainly counter to the lifestyles they see on TV. The Trump presidency, the vote for Brexit, the rise of fascism on the European mainland, are responses to a system that failed them: stop listening to its sophistry, blow it up, and go with the solution that packages up all the answers you want to hear into one easy message.

Here's my fear: Trump has no actual plan to make life better for these people. Brexit certainly won't. Nor will Le Pen. In fact more will join their ranks.

There are monsters worse than Trump, and in four years or less we'll see their faces.


Heck, I'll put in a plug too (already did on arsebook):

It's a little unfortunate the assessor for ICT stuff is the ACS, a mercenary pack of clowns with no real connection to reality. However experienced people would ace their "body of knowledge" testing. Most govt organisations here use NHS and SFIA anyway, while the private sector uses the American stuff.


there are damn good reasons to believe the latter's claim that the Swedes were being used as a front to get him into the USA to face a kangaroo court

This involves believing that the USA considered it easier to extradite or abduct Assange from Sweden than from the UK - where, for most of the relevant time, he was under curfew at a nice big house in the country only a few miles from a major US base. (Also, even excluding the more 24-style scenarios, just look at the UK's record of allowing extradition to the US almost on demand.)


I.e. an assassination, by other methods! Yes, that is the possibility that I regard as the worst of all likely outcomes.


AFAIK I have never looked at anything from Faux "news". Assange's "strikes" - against the Global Warming researchers & his other targets, aroused my suspicions, long since. It's purely my opinion, but I think he's a bought arsehole - OK?

Apologies, everyone, can we please not get derailed by a minor shit like Assange, when Trumpolini & the christians are readying to wreck the USA?


The US is fucked to a greater or lesser degree, simply because.. Trump bankrupted a casino. A casino. I can barely wrap my head around the degree of incompetence that takes. So best case is piss-poor management for the next 4 years, and it gets increasingly apocalyptic from there.

The most hopeful take-away from this is that it might shake politicians elsewhere out of their stupor and start trying to do something to make the economy better for the great mass of people, but even that is a slim hope, because it requires them to grasp what the underlying problem is.


I believe the Canadian Government website has already crashed under the load of would be emigrants ..... Assuming of course that the Tea Party christians, who are running the show as of now, don't invade Canada. [ See also S Palin ]


One thing to remember here is that Trump ran a fascist campaign, but he does not control, build, or run a fascist movement, or any real political movement as Europeans are used to thinking.

What I believe will happen:

  • Obamacare will be gone, which will make desperate people even more desperate
  • Voter suppression efforts will become far more blatant
  • Violent far-right groups will become emboldened. They won't necessarily become more violent in an organised way (since they believe Trump is on their side), but we will probably see more vigilantism and terror against minority groups and progressive activists
  • The Trump administration will be fundamentally corrupt and incompetent (think Bush II was bad at Katrina?), any reactions they make in any disaster situation or crisis will likely be flawed and useless
  • Trump is fundamentally authoritarian, and goes along with such people. This might help in ending the Syrian civil war (with Assad left in power), but relations with most of Europe (except Hungary and maybe Poland) will become really bad
  • I believe the US will become more isolationistic, but also that any international interventions they do make will become even less well thought out

We will see lots of scapegoating and demonising and othering. If the "classic" or apparatchik Republicans (if they exist nowadays) try to reign in Trump, I believe they will find that they might be able to handle Trump, but they won't be able to handle the emotions he has channeled, used, and reinforced. That might be enough to trigger a civil war or insurrection.


The thing is that his personality is to use any mean available. You can bet (he said it) that he will use US military advantage to leverage business when other nations do not comply. He is not a good negotiator (even Republicans held their distance) and his style is excessive force over weak. And weak in this case are probably everyone except eu, Russia and China. Or best chance is that he limits himself to stealing just within US. Somehow I doubt it, he is greedy kind.


Well, yes, but that was known to be the case. The UK's subservience to the USA on extradition is extreme, but he was clearly outside the treaty and had enough money to fight an illegal warrant in court. While it would be possible for the USA to kidnap him and fly him out, with the connivance of the UK, neither government wanted the political flack that would engender - extraordinary (i.e. illegal) rendition is a political hot potato here, because of the Human Rights Act and our legal tradition. None of the disgraceful articles you mention were overtly political in nature, but Assange's case was. He claimed (and it was not denied) that the Swedes had extradicted several people to the USA on political charges.

Ask yourself why the Swedish and UK governments did not simply make a commitment that he would be returned to the UK after the Swedish legal process on this matter completed, before any further request for extradition was considered. That's a very simple ad hoc treaty, and was suggested (more than once) by Assange. Even more importantly, when he had taken refuge there, Ecuador would almost certainly have granted extradition under those conditions.


To put it in perspective, if the US election followed the same rules as Brexit, HRC would have won, as she seems to be headed toward a popular vote plurality. Every country finds a slightly different way to be stupid.


I'm still pretty much in shock, but I believe that a society can generate its own "out of context" problem.

What we're seeing is the result of a media that creates black propaganda against members of the society that media supposedly represents. The only equivalent I can think of is having some kind of auto-immune disease where the immune system (the media) attacks its own cells (members of the existing social order) to the point where the organism cannot further function... does anyone imagine that we would have elected Donald Trump if every repetition of the word "email" had been replaced with the word "bankruptcy?"

It will take 10-20 years, but the Titanic has hit the iceberg.


Looking back at previous presidents, I do find quite a lot of cause for optimism where Trump is concerned. The US Presidency was designed by very smart and wise people to be an office occupied by one man, and a huge number of checks and balances hidden behind him.

Look at some of the previous incumbents of this role: we have had several philanderers and adulterers, quite a few serial liars and one early-stage dementia sufferer (that I know of, poor chap). None of them was permitted to cause very much of a problem in wider US politics; the US president is very much a figurehead and seems to have a heck of a lot of back-up to prevent him from being a complete arse.


Assuming of course that the Tea Party christians [...].

The one thing I confidently predict is that religion will increase in adherents under President Trump, largely because I think/feel that belief rates are broadly a function of perceived societal insecurity!


You've got a point. A new online handle might be a very good idea right now.


Global demographics are changing and we're seeing the first big migrations triggered by climate change. The aging, shrinking demographic of angry white racists in the USA were energized by Trump, and the fear of losing their locked-in privilege.

By exit polling only 14% cited immigration as the top concern. 60% cited the economy. Keep in mind real median income last year was lower than in 2007.

On top of that Trump out performed Hillary in white rural areas that Obama won in both 08 and 12.

This is not as simple as "those dumb racists". Nothing is monocausal and human activities need to be evaluated in terms of communities, not just saying "oh they are just dumb bigots"


A security expert on NBC related that generals he knows were reading the Constitution to see how much leeway they had to disobey an immoral order, e.g. conducting mass deportations.


But none of the above was even remotely near to the authoritarian bully that Trumpolini ( as will label him from now on ) is, nor had the backing of deeply unpleasant religious & racist & ultra-misogynistic groupings that he has. Coupled with Pence, who is deeply scary, it does not look good. Will there be an unrigged election in 2020? Or will "They" have managed to disenfranchise & silence enough people by then?


The US presidency is actually quite unusual among democracies in terms of how much power the directly-elected executive has versus the legislature. The old polsci joke is that the USA is an absolute monarchy with an elected king, while the parliamentary democracies are mostly constitutional republics with hereditary presidents. I do believe a President Donald will be out of his depth as of morning, meaning he'll rely on getting the best people, it'll be yuge. Whatever the hell that means is the likely container of impending problems.


One interesting issue, will Campaign Donald let NATO go under or will the Establishment Republicans still have enough juice to make him hawkier than Clinton?

Consider how thin skinned Trump is. He may love Vlad's Impaler at the moment, but the minute Putin does something to tick him off, Trump may escalate faster than even Elderly Cynic's nightmares about Madame Secretary. Do you really think two Putins with two nuclear arsenals makes for a stabler world? That's basically what you get with President Trump (barf). But if the old style GOP controls foreign policy, then you basically get Clinton without the warm fuzzy(ish) domestic policies.

Bottom line: there is no silver lining for Europe in this deal. And I hope you don't have interests and/or friends/family in the Baltics (or the US for the matter; we will be spinning for a bit.)

...if you have access to modern machinery, fertilisers and pesticides then a tropical climate is paradise for a farmer

Not actually true. Works for a few years, but you then get problems depending on the specific local climate, soil profile and geology. Here it's dry-land salinity, not to mention getting enough water, erosion, runoff problems, depletion an structural change, etc. Early successes are not necessarily sustainable even in the medium term. There's really no getting away from the underlying message in this comment, which is a pretty ugly one.

These are economic refugees, out for the best deal they can find for no outlay on their part, without having to work for it

Not actually true either, and see above regarding ugly messages. The only logic that supports such views is inevitably circular.


Imagine that tomorrow something happened and you had to flee somewhere else without any of your assets?

How about some other war torn countries? Perhaps countries which already have big refugee camps surrounded by high fences and guard posts with guns facing inwards. Or might you head for countries where you're pretty sure you'll at least have some kind of legal rights even if that's just the right to some kind of hearing before chucking you out and the border guards are unlikely to simply put a bullet in your head.

Might you aim for somewhere where you might actually be able to get a job? Or might you aim somewhere where you'll be banned from practicing your profession?

people aren't duty bound to behave like brainless zombies for your pleasure.


OK, Some music for our American friends


Yes, he is a loose cannon, but there IS a silver lining for Europe, though it's small and tarnished. Its foreign, military and even economic policies have been far too subservient to the USA military-industrial machine, very much helped along by its fifth column in Europe (the UK). Trump may derail that, especially in combination with Brexit - of course, there are now other willingly subservient states in the EU, but they are not as powerful nor as skilled as the UK.


I don't think the problem is being hawkier as such, but it's more about temperament. If he's going to be getting on so well with Putin, sharing a jolly old victory march through Kiev, it will be a matter of Putin pushing and taking advantage. Does Putin really possess the judgement to know exactly how far to go? I think his temperament is to try it on as hard as he can, relentlessly. What happens at the point where Donald feels imposed upon, insulted, slighted, belittled?

There was once a species of Pentagon hawk who would run the numbers on the USA "winning" after a first strike. Isn't the new president elect a magnet for such types, if any still exist or if any might activate themselves?


You obviously don't remember Halliburton and others during the Iraq war. Military industrial complex is much better for making profit than real estate, less competition. Just give him half of year to find out how much money is there.


Trump being assassinated is a terrifying proposition; Trump is killed and the far right flip to the "The Stab-In-The-Back Myth And You" bit in the manual...


Surely it depends on how an assassination is carried out. A car accident where the other driver is an elderly white man? or by a Jealous husband who found Trump in bed with his wife?



Tragic part #1 is that this is still being blamed on "racists". It's got nothing to do with that, I think, except that they often overlap with a group along another divider line: those who benefit from globalism, and those who don't.

Tragic part #2 is China. The economic boom there is showing that it was a bubble all along with entire newly built cities sitting empty, Chinese wealth migrating out of the country, and much of the bubble being financed by American money. I can completely see the new government dealing badly with that situation (and, to be fair, it's a bad one to start with never mind how you handle it). And then shit will really hit the fan.

Because if the Chinese economy collapses, the world economy will take a huge blow, and then we have more people feeling disenfranchised by the last decades of globalism.

Rinse & repeat.


Yeah. Suggestive of insanity. That so many women, of any "racial" group voted for Trumpolini?


Thinking that this is Caligula, US version whose first master project will be to build that wall along Mexico only its real purpose will be to keep USians (and all those skilled, hardworking, low-paid legal Mexicans who've woken up to a nightmare) inside the wall.

MP will follow in DC's (who followed in GB Sr's) footsteps because a lot of the power for this elected post moved behind the throne as of RR's term when POTUS became a ceremonial position at best.

The players are lining up with like-minded world leaders quickly jumping in to congratulate DT on his win.

None of the DT kids knew how a blind trust works, possibly because it's a relatively recent practice started by LBJ in 1963 as an honorable thing to do but is not mandatory. Will be interesting to see how this gets worked over by the new POTUS and his family.

Lastly ... based on bio/track record, DT's due a 'new' wife.


No, they're heading to Europe, where you get paid simply for existing and nobody is looking to conscript you into the army or make you work for a living.

Charlie has already pointed out the key flaw in this line of reasoning; and you should also consider that it's a combination of geography and physical security, not economic security.

The attraction of Europe isn't necessarily "social security, because they want an easy life" - that line is pushed by the US right, because it allows them to bash welfare costs. The attraction might well be as simple as:

  • geographic accessibility; refugees don't head to Russia, because it's a very very long journey. With deserts and mountains in the way. Oceans also tend to make people-smuggling less lucrative, so the USA is out.

  • physical security; if you're fleeing a war zone, why go somewhere that's fighting wars on home soil? Goodbye Syria, hello Donbass? If you're fleeing oppression, why seek refuge in an undemocratic state? If you're fleeing corruption, why head for a place where the police will steal from you? If you've got a different religion, sexuality, or colour of skin, why head for a country that demonstrates bigotry on those grounds (see: gay or dark-skinned in Russia) when you can head for countries that already have immigrant populations?

It's rather like the US Right and the meme that the US was founded by the adventurous fleeing oppression, willing to work and yearning to be free; and that it's the (most recent wave of) immigrants who are the undesirables, with their strange foreign ways (the Irish, the Slavs, the Mexicans, the Muslims). AIUI, the settlers before independence were also the religious nutters who wanted freedom to oppress their own people, the criminals being transported, fleeing debtors, the losing side (and its war criminals) from vicious civil wars. That whole "separation of church from state" thing was originally intended to stop Christian factions from oppressing other Christian factions. The hypocrisy is realised in all its glory when Republican politicians keep being found to be employing illegal immigrants, or the Religious Right are into their fourth marriage on grounds of adultery...

The refugees are heading for a place where they actually have a chance to make a success of their lives, within a society that believes in tolerance and the rule of law. That's what upsets me about the Brexit results - the fact that the small-minded and intolerant have started to feel they can speak out.


Of course I do. You didn't read what I said carefully enough, and are assuming that he will act entirely rationally and consistently - given his record, that is the LEAST likely possibility! Any break will come from Europe - Germany has already been moving in that direction, despite opposition from the UK.


By your logic, Californian farming is almost entirely Okie descendants. (It's not, by the way.)

You seem to have missed a point: if climate change is kicking you off your farm your biggest asset is worthless and your income's been shit for years, because climate change doesn't move that fast and farmers never give up after one bad year (because there are always bad years). How are they to afford farm land in Africa? (Farming knowledge not being 1:1 transferable to anywhere on the globe I'll leave to others to tackle.)

And the Okie comparison brings up another point: maybe they're not farmers! Many Okies weren't, because when climate change wrecks farming in an agricultural area it also - amazingly - wrecks the economy, forcing those people who sold goods and services to the farmers to move as well.


Unless that elderly white man is a well-known gun-toting, card-carrying Tea Partier it still applies. It's not the truth, it's the myth the fascists can build around it.


I suspect that the large numbers of Latinos and White Women and Others voting Trump are those that put their religion before their economics, their race and/or their gender. They are holding their nose and voting Trump only to ensure that the 'right' candidates make it to the Supremes.

Clinton terrifies them because ABORTION.

No evidence, of course, except anecdotal.


So far, Putin has behaved almost entirely rationally and, in external affairs, has used force only in response to events that have threatened Russia. I shan't comment on whether he has overstepped the mark, or been excessively brutal, as those are matters of viewpoint, not fact. However, supreme power leads to brain-rot, so I can't predict the future.

Yes, that species of hawk still exists, but things are very different from 1962. Then, a USA first strike would have eliminated almost all of the USSR's retaliatory capability, and the USA would have survived with at least 30% (and probably much more) of its industrial and military capability intact. That's according to its own official estimates, incidentally - which the USSR knew, and knew was correct - hence their fear. Now, it's not like that. From what I have seen and deduced, the current plan is blockade (political and economic), and the power in the Washington area is a delicate balance between the warmongers and the diplomats. Clinton aligned with the former; Kerry with the latter; God alone knows what the future holds.


You do realise that killing isn't necessary if all you want is rid of the man as president? All that is required is a chronic, long-term infirmity of some description, which invalids the man out of office. Such outcomes are reasonably simple to achieve chemically.


A request for Charlie: Please PLEASE can you urgently write a near-future story where an alien invasion leads rapidly to utopian peace on Earth? Given reality keeps pinching your plots, I'm starting to think that might be our only hope!


Hoosier here (resident of the state of Indiana, of which Pence is currently Governor.) You are right to fear Pence. He's been a corporate lap dog as Governor of Indiana and there's no reason to think that his new post has satiated his ambition. As happy as I am to see him out of Indiana, that's poor compensation for seeing him in Washington.


Assange is almost certainly in Putin's pay.

More likely he's what we call a "useful fool". Just like anyone who talks to a reporter in Washington is a "senior government official", all you have to do is slip Assange a file and tell him it's classified and he'll gladly spray it about the Internet.


A request for Charlie: our only hope!



Charlie, you could always write near-future utopian literature for a change.


haven't read the post or comments yet. Dispatch from our Grim Meathook Future:

Waking to a nightmare. Things'll calm down once Il Douché rounds up the Redhats and ships them off to the Iranian front. Meanwhile, we in the underground are gathering up materials for our Mazel Tov cocktails...


Was trying to type that, and this, with a hundred pound OESheepdog lying next to me, with his head in my lap and pawing at me. He's a service dog and surprisingly empathic. That or he was to go out and shit. hsould have left in the typos he's causing.


Yes. And, as I said, he has good reason to loathe Clinton. But what the conspiracy theorists fail to realise is that (a) Wikileaks have produced some very embarrassing information about Putin and (b) the proportion of embarrassing leaks is exactly what you would expect from the relative bumfoolery and computer security competence of the organisations.


Maybe he'll need to build two walls:


'Canada and the prospect of Americans moving there appears to have drawn so much online interest that it knocked out the country’s immigration website.

Internet searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” spiked Tuesday night as election returns favoured Republican President-elect Donald Trump. “Canada immigration” was also a top trending Google search and “Canada” was a leading U.S. trend on Twitter, with more than 1 million tweets.'


ONe last thing before I go and read the comments. At least he's not as bugfuck crazy as Duterte, or if he is there's no way he could get away with the same stuff here. I hope.


Okay, one real last thing. Something that was bothering me the last few weeks were the campaign commercials. Rump's pretended to be about issues, while not actually saying anything. Clinton's were all about what a bad man he is. His were straight forward, and hers were a little more artistic. I was worried that his would be more effective.


Of course not. It was in every Clinton commercial, along with "You can go f**k yourself!"


I wish both sides would quit crying wolf. Is this time going to be the time facism/the antichrist takes over the country? I dunno, the last three times this was claimed didn't pan out, so it's hard to get worked up about it this time around.

I too have faith in the Constitution, and local state legislatures. I don't for an instance think Congress will do anything useful even though they have the power. And this is one case where the Electoral College could meet its actual purpose (keeping the popular vote from doing something stupid) but unlikely that will happen either.

As a scientist there is one thing I wish people would get from this. Notice that "experts" took a data set no one 100% understands with measurements lost in the noise/errorbars, threw computer models and statistics at it, filtered the results through their personal biases.... and were totally wrong about the predicted outcome. So just think about that the next time someone tries to sell you something.


From UK radio, the self-proclaimed "political journalists" won't understand your argument. :-(


This is a very long read but very interesting. It argues that economics is not the primary reason for either Trump or Brexit and backs that up with references to research.

White riot How racism and immigration gave us Trump, Brexit, and a whole new kind of politics


I agree with Obama, if this was McCain or Romney, I wouldn't be scared. This guy is not intelligent, never did this kind of job, proved to be sexual predator and probably hides a huge debt in his tax returns. This guy had almost 0 endorsements from newspapers, other respectable peers (not politicians only but businessmen). The whole relativization of two options is at the bottom of this mess. NO, this has never, ever been before.

Additional complication, failing institutions that we take for granted (FBI mess), Russian direct meddling (and winning).


The usual suspects are going to take this and run with it, they won't interact with the working class and see their concerns dimly, through several layers of abstraction. While The Donald worked out which buttons to press to spin up the voters, there's next to no chance he will be able to do anything positive, and a great chance that the Klan will feel empowered, which may come as a shock to those who voted "R", but forgot that people of color were not the only ones the Klan dislikes. History is happening and history is usually unpleasant to live through.

Something that was bothering me the last few weeks were the campaign commercials.

Someone pointed me the striking differences between those campaign messages.

Clinton Campaign: "I'm with her, and you?"

Trump Campaign: "I'm with you!"

The second message is populist... and far more effective. "Give to me" vs "I'll give you".


Good grief, I thought our BREXIT outcome was monumentally foolish, but this ... this is insane.

" we haven't really understood yet why people vote Brexit/Trump/AfD/Front National. The narrative of the old white male voter probably has something to do with it, but it can't be all."

I suspect the voting choices are to a large extent a protest against politicians as a class. They have (whatever their established party)done a poor job , and are seen as 'them' rather than part of 'us'. Some of 'them' may be fractionally better than others of 'them', but whoever takes power fails to deliver on those lavish pre election promises. So, many folk will tell you all politicians are liars and cannot be trusted. The trump (appropriately trump is slang for a fart round here BTW)harped on this during the debates I saw.

Enter an obviously not like 'them' newcomer with no political track record to defend. Farrago the bloke, Trumpolini the tycoon, something different, hoorah ! That'll show the politicians ! Add all those protest votes to the old white males, and the anti-abortion religionists, and the gun lobby, and the far right.

The whole thing is depressing at best, terrifying at worst.


Anyone know about 'The Working Group on Financial Markets' beyond what Wikipedia says re: stock market volatility and US Gov't interventions? Just wondering whether this is behind the overnight/current stock market stabilization we're seeing on the DOW.


'Market Crisis of 2008

On October 6, 2008, the working group issued a statement indicating that it was taking multiple actions available to it in order to attempt to stabilize the financial system, although purchase of stock shares was not part of the statement.[15] The government may wind up owning shares in the firms to which it provided loans, as they will receive warrants as collateral for these loans.'


Chris Dellow has an interesting post addressing some of your points here


Unfortunately, in 2018, Democrats are very unlikely to get control of the Senate. They already effectively hold 25 of the 33 seats that are up for a vote that year (counting two independents who caucus with the Democrats). Further, most of the sitting Republicans in that cohort are in very safe seats, and several of the Democrats aren't, e.g., Democratic incumbents in states that voted Republican for President.

(The system is a bit confusing -- US Senators serve staggered six-year terms, with an election every two years for one third of the seats, The 2016 batch had good prospects for pick-ups among Democrats because several Republican incumbents were in shaky situations; 2018 is rather the reverse. Wikipedia has a page on the 2018 Senate elections for those wanting a detailed run-down, but I think I've given the gist of it.)


I too am sorry.

My employer has an office near Edinburgh, and I'm strongly considering looking into a transfer there because I can't imagine my daughter growing up in the version of the US that I fear will emerge over the next four to eight years. If only I had more certainty about what will happen with Scotland courtesy of Brexit (and I can't believe that we managed to outdo THAT bit of bad judgement!).


Empire Games sounds awesome, and I'm also looking forward to that far future space opera and high fantasy!


I'm a progressive independent. I lean left but am disgusted by the dems. We have one corporate party with two branches. Like the spam sketch, there's corporatism either way, you get it with god and guns or gay-friendly. I'm sick of voting for candidates only slightly less right than the Republicans. Obama admitted to being where moderate Republicans used to be. He was no progressive.

I was a Bernie supporter and thought Clinton had too much baggage. She managed to lose once already to Obama who was a longshot to begin with. That she had to fight tooth and nail against a socialist jewish grandpa from Vermont was telling us something. Bernie never would have had traction in normal times, he would have been on the fringe. These are not normal times. Bernie and Trump were both populist candidates. Left and right base can clearly see something is wrong, just disagree vastly about the causes.

What we're seeing is like in Weimar Germany. You had two establishment parties that nobody had faith in. Hitler accurately described the problems facing the masses, could be empathetic. His explanation was bonkers, of course, but that's the rub -- people suck at critical thinking. They'll take a simplistic, easy explanation over complicated and nuanced. And with so many disaffected Germans playing with international communism, the industrialists were interested in backing someone else who had a lot of popular support but was more decisively German in flavor.

Clinton was an awful candidate and not someone you voted for, you voted against the other guy. Kerry was the same way and lost against Bush in what should have been a slam dunk. Why did Obama win twice? Because he's the kind of guy you wanted to vote for, winning personality even if his agenda was decidedly milquetoast. He kept trying to find compromise. You want to advance your agenda and they want to see you hanging from a tree. Where's the compromise, you promise to kick yourself in the nuts a few times? You don't negotiate with terrorists.


Michael Moore has a message:

Morning After To-Do List: 1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably. 2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off. 3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin. 4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that. 5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above). Let's try to get this all done by noon today. -- Michael Moore


I see your point, and suggest that it might be worth comparing Scotland, where there is fairly general happiness with at least some of the policies of the ruling party, with England, where there doesn't seem to be.


To my mind, the striking thing is that we've now twice seen political outcomes that were directly contrary to what the news media and the political prognosticators were anticipating, and indeed regarding as a nearly sure thing. Twenty-four hours ago the Times (ours in New York, not yours in London) was giving Trump maybe a 10% chance. No one saw this outcome coming. It's like they were looking into the future and seeing the event horizon of a singularity. In fact it's a lot like OGH's own attempts to foresee the future for his novels, only in the real world.

I don't think the "racism" model really works to account for this. It treats racism as a constant, ineradicable element in Angosphere or maybe Western culture. But you can't explain a variable outcome by a constant cause! If anything, racism has become less prevalent and less intense over the past decades, as the older generations have died out and been replaced by less racist younger people (and let's not forget that the boomers on whom so much is being blamed were the generation whose entry into politics saw a massive delegitimation of racism; a narrative that says boomer = racist is at best too simple). Saying that a cultural factor that is becoming less strong is accounting for a massive new emergence in politics doesn't work as a theory, at least not obvioiusly.


The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want.

Sort of like the PM of Brittan? No direct election there either.


To pluck a small diamond from this rough, I, for one, will be very interested to see what OGH's take on high fantasy will be. Something set in the world of the Morningstar Empire before the fall, perhaps?


The three best articles I've read on the situation are below

I don't think any of them are completely right, but between them you get a fairly good picture of some of the factors that are certainly not contained to the US, that have fuelled an anti-establishment rise across the world.


Anti-establishment is more likely to be right than "racist." It just requires grasping that the Democrats have now become the establishment they claim to be rebelling against. Describing one's opposition as "racist" has become an establishment maneuver, and one that's applied increasingly broadly. But at a certain point you've called so many people "racist" that the charge turns into background noise.

But I'd also suggest another factor: Clinton herself. The news media in the United States, and a lot of the intellectual community, simply have not grasped that a lot of people (and I include myself among them) regard her with sentiments much like those with which many people in the UK remember Margaret Thatcher. Why, just last night I saw a blog comment citing "Ding, dong, the witch is dead!" as theme music. . . . There were people so confident in their own righteousness and their own embodiment of History that they supported a candidate who, in the end, couldn't defeat Donald Trump.


Wow, MM got it right, down to where it is going to break. Thanks for the link. I really need something to make any kind of sense right now.


Re: 'If anything, racism has become less prevalent and less intense over the past decades, as the older generations have died out and been replaced by less racist younger people ...'

Not necessarily ... and especially not when the younger generation lacks access to education.

Regarding the polling ... ever since smart/mobile phones and the Internet showed up, polling has encountered some serious sampling issues. In fact some highly respected pollsters and statisticians sounded this alarm over 15 years ago. On the commercial polling side (i.e., marketing research), this was addressed by designing sample panels and occasionally running a study longitudinally. Blended sample methodologies were also used - sometimes just to re-calibrate sample bias/wows before switching long-term studies completely over to the new sampling methodology.

Another potential source of sampling error using any current mobile phone, land phone and or Internet is that these are devices and not individuals. Any one person in the West can (and often does) possess more than one phone contact number, or email address. That is, it is very possible to be contacted more than once for the same study during that study's data collection period. (It's happened to me ... more than once.) Old school polls used physical street addresses ... easier to verify for duplication as well as for any accidental over-sampling of one geographic area over another.

Something else learned from commercial/business polling over the past couple of decades is that the population and subgroups are more geographically mobile than ever before so biases can and do shift based on current geographic location.


Next couple of months: Obama exits. People will feel a strange sad fondness for the utopian era of good governance. (In time, the past 8 years will seem surrounded by a rosy glow, as of Camelot during the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; they will even come to think kindly of George W. Bush.)

If we are assuming that "Good Governance" consists of droning more people and initiating more wars than even George Bush and Cheney managed to do and - on top of that great achievement worthy of the Nobel Peace Price, jailing fewer banksters (Zero) than Bush managed to do (3, I think). While taking a huge crap all over Nurenberg too.

The rule of law basically ended with Obama. Under Obama everything became politics mixed with tribal and racial bullshit solved with no-fault settlements, hence the huge bitch-fight between the DOJ and the FBI.

Why would anyone want more of that?

Maybe Trump will double down and embrace and extend Obama's legacy of enabling fraud, warmongering, torture and corruption and maybe he won't. I think he probably wont.

And "probably", totally weak as it is, was WAY better odds than Hillarys obsessive "Russia must Pay" and "No Fly Zones - even if it means war with Russia!".

And the infinite arms and logistics support for the Genocide in Yemen which was one of the core values of Hillary, what the foundation was indeed paid to deliver.

If people only listen to what they like to hear then reality will eventually rise up and bite them right on the bum. That is what happened. That and people were getting tired of the ever more shrill and hyperbolic shrieking of entitled people on all the catastrophes that would surely befall humanity if Trump got elected, that they decided to Call their bet and See the cards.

Nicholas Taleb has a rant on that aspect of the election - of course, he likes ranting:


A 25 year of cottage industry of hating Hillary exists. She was always going to face difficulties in governing because the hate and distrust for her has been a standard right-wing talking point for the last 25 years. It was one of the reasons I was against her in the primaries, and I spent the last couple months coming to terms with her. Now I weep.


I actually like the Electoral College. The US is a republic, not a direct democracy. The presidency is not an individual popularity contest, it's a choice by the 50 states (weighted by population).

Check the US Constitution, it never even says there has to be a popular vote for president. It just says the individual state legislatures can choose their handful of Electors any way they want (and there have been cases where this has happened without an election).


Re post 21: No, no, no, Trump won't be aware that he can't run the US and will ask for help. You've got this so wrong... Like Dumbshit, he's an Executive, and will Delegate all the hard stuff.... Which makes Pence even more scary, a religious Dick Cheney.



I think you're reading things wrong. AFAIKT, the election was decided by lots and lots of people who stayed home because they couldn't stand ANY of the candidates (and I'm including the two major minor party candidates).

This doesn't have much practical effect, and we'll have to see whether Trump has a "state within a state", but I think you're misreading the causation. And it's going to get worse even with good governance, because automation is getting faster, easier, cheaper, and more effective...and this means we stop exporting jobs, but we also don't move them back into the country. A guy in Indonesia may be cheaper than one in China, but he can't compete with a robot...not next year.


There weren't any good guys. I think we picked the worse of two, but only the second worst of four.

Somebody said a few months ago (on another site) that he was voting for Trump because everyone else hated him so much he wouldn't be able to do any harm. I consider him foolishly optimistic, but I guess that's all we have to hope for now.


Dude. The New York Times gives Clinton a margin of less than 240,000 votes out of an electorate of over 120,000,000 (when you count in the third party and independent candidate votes). That's a statistical tie. Even if you assume an extraordinarily honest and competent election, a 0.2% margin is smaller than the probable amount of fraud or simple error. Calling that almost perfect breakeven vote a mandate for Clinton is grasping not at straws, but at single fibers of cellulose. Michael Moore is an effective rhetorician but he would flunk Stat 1.


First of all, as an American, I must apologize to OGH, the posters here, and rest of the fucking world. We are so fucked, one and all.

I have 4.5 kids (one stepkid). And a granddaughter. And I don't know that any of us will be alive in four years, with that insane fascist's short fingers on The Button.

About the election, I have two big picture reasons Trumpolini won (and I'm hoping to get it into a form that the Guardian will publish it).

First: The whole concept of "it's x's turn to run". Mondale lost to Raygun. Dole lost to Clinton. Kerry lost to Bush, and this. QED - the next time your party says it's someone's "turn to run, they've paid their dues", find anyone else, because, demonstrably, they'll lose.

Second: Mental whiplash.In the last eight years, we've gotten more-or-less national health insurance, gays open in the military, gay marriage, and transgender issues. And then to follow the first Black President, they nominate a woman.

Consider this: someone comes out to their family, who know them, and frequently? most of the time? there's issues that takes months or years to resolve and come to acceptance. Now consider all these folks who don't know any LYBQ. They're in mental whiplash, and it was all too much, too soon. I'm not talking 20 years here, but a fairly tall white guy, with a woman VP, I think could have one, paving the way for her to run. But this is one first after another.

Me? I'm soliciting views as to whether I should announce I'm running for President for 2020 now, or wait two years.

Oh, and I need to start an ImpeachTrump campaign. I mean, the GOP was planning it before Bill was inaugurated in '92, and sauce for the goose....



Yup. I grew up in a mill town that still blames the Clintons for the industry dying (even though GHW Bush and automation did far more). The urban rural divide was the decisive factor.

Essentially these are towns across the US, especially in the Midwest built around a single industry. Maybe its brake pads for GM, maybe it's timber, maybe its the mine. The economy is not diverse, and the factory is the source for a decent wage in town. It's gone now (although more often than not to automation and competition within the US than foreign trade). Not to mention when it was foreign trade it usually had more to do with the US industry becoming stagnant (especially the auto industry and it's long tail which under GM's bad management didn't give two crap about quality, and why GM went from 54% market share to 12%).

Combine this with a get the bums out and fear of the other made the Urban Rural Divide decide this election. In the electoral college. Please, we need to get organized in 2018. Especially we need the popular vote compact and some damn electoral reform. Not to mention the courts. 12 years of stalled judicial appointments mean a potential for nightmares with a trump picked judiciary, from district courts on up.


If memory serves, Obama inherited the drone war from "shrub", shame that he continued it, but Trump-Pence will have jobs for Bush administration (A grand name for an intimate hair care establishment!) veterans, the architects of the Iraq war are rested, tanned and ready.


On The Beach was a novel, and didn't worry about accuracy. That said, in a maximum nuclear war it would be a bit optimistic, except that more of the explosions would go off south of the Equator. Don't forget where China is, and that India is a nuclear power. And that military bases are scattered all over. I think Level 7 was more accurate for that scenario. (Don't read it.)

OTOH, bacteriological warfare is a lot cheaper, and allows minor powers to play. It's just even harder to contain, though it does tend to only target one, or a very few, species.


In the electoral college. Please, we need to get organized in 2018. Especially we need the popular vote compact and some damn electoral reform.

Our constitution makes this very unlikely. It is a tall order indeed to modify the constitution.

What is more likely and way more scary is that we might get a constitutional convention in a few years. Those are scary because there are no rules as to what one can do. We've only had one and it basically ripped up the previous arrangement and started over. I just don't think that's likely to produce a better result at this time.

What is more likely and way more scary is that we might get a constitutional convention in a few years. Those are scary because there are no rules as to what one can do. We've only had one and it basically ripped up the previous arrangement and started over. I just don't think that's likely to produce a better result at this time.

Wasn't a constitutional convention the route to the fascist United Republic of America in Allen Steele's Coyote series?


"Almost impossible."

Possible : Sarkozy is loathed by part of the population, a Sarkozy - Le Pen face up may end up as Le Pen.


William H. Stoddard @ 127:

The vote counts are ongoing, and won't be completed in places like California for some time. The NYT right now estimates Clinton winning the popular vote by a 1.4% margin, and I've seen higher estimates elsewhere.


On the off chance you haven't seen this tweet:

BRITAIN: Brexit is the stupidest, most self-destructive act a country could undertake.
USA: Hold my beer.

— Brian Pedaci (@bpedaci) November 9, 2016

Not sure when he wrote it, and I did't check results after the big bad wolf prevailed. Even though is statistical tie, I'll take it. I need something to soothe the headache, and give me some hope.

Regarding electoral college, wiki has good points: like votes matter more than others, focus just on some battleground states, is complicated and discourages people in non-battleground states to participate. England is different story.


No, I don't think Bush was bad a Katrina. I think he was malicious...or rather the guy he had running the Federal Emergency Management Agency (well...anyway FEMA) was malicious. I knew some people who went down to help and they reported things that were far worse than could be explained by incompetence. Some doctors got shot to keep them from treating some people, a few other things of lesser magnitude.

Now if you want to ask, "Do you expect the government headed by Trump to be more malicious against minorities?" the answer would need to be yea. But that's not quite the same as incompetence...which I also expect.


There's at least one other flaw with your argument. A lot of the refugees from Africa you might think would go elsewhere head for Europe thanks to Empire. A surprising number of even the relatively poor speak one of English, French or more rarely German as a second language because they're still official languages of their countries. Everyone speaks their tribal tongue and most speak the former colonial tongue as the language of government. So if they get displaced, they head to somewhere that is a) close, b) stable (so they're not likely to get displaced again) and c) speaks their language. Europe it is. Russia didn't have an empire, America is a long way away, elsewhere in Africa fails the stability test.

Syria and the Middle East in general fails the stability test for most. For a lot of the refugees, right or wrong, Russia and America are the bad guys - they support Israel and the various local regimes that you're a refugee from. Are you really going to run to the country that supports the regime that just bombed your house and your city? Possibly the country that actually flew the mission that made you migrant? If so you're either really brave or really foolhardy. Or perhaps you don't believe 70 years or so of Syria's tanks and planes being made in Russia?


That's not clear. There are vague rumors that Trump may be blackmailed by Putin for something he did during a trip to Moscow. Given what he openly admits, I have a hard time imagining what he would do that would make him blackmailable, and so I give this quite low credence...but it does need to be factored in. He may feel he has to put up with Putin. Or he may have felt blackmailed, but now figure he's too important. Or this could just be rumor. So give it say %5 chance of being real, but if real it's not clear what its significance is. But he may feel he has to put up with Putin...and as a wild guess give that a %1 chance of being correct.

For some reason during the election I kept thinking of "The Manchurian Candidate", so I may be giving this too much credence.


So. What do I - Brit, US family, US-resident - do now?

Serious Q. Who will be the most effective roadblcks, and why, and what can I do to help?

Completely incapacitated by this. And that's as a white, het, man.


This, only replace "Brit, US family, US-resident" with Canadian, teenager, LIVES RIGHT ON THE BORDER and is more than a little terrified. Seriously. WTF do we do now?


It's an unfortunate truth, however, that people tend to feel more altruistic towards people who are more similar to them. You can say that it's immoral, but it's a built-in and evolved part of human nature. Which makes it interesting that if something is sufficiently different we can start getting altruistic again. See campaigns to help dogs and cats, humane societies, SCPA, PETA, etc. But things that are sufficiently different don't compete as much for resources. And again, I'm presuming this motivation is instinctual, not reasoned, even though reason may be used to implement it.

Lecturing people that they shouldn't feel this way is only of limited help. It can be effective while people don't feel economically threatened, but once they do it wears off rather quickly. The problem is that large nations are BUILT out of people who are different. Whoops! Our social systems are in conflict with our evolutionary drives.

But if you examine countries that have good social welfare systems you find that not only are they relatively wealthy, but they are also relatively closely related, or were so until quite recently.

I'd sure love to be proven wrong about this, but I don't expect it.


AFAIKT, the problem was that just about nobody really liked Hillary, and some people really like Trump. More people than usual stayed home. I held my nose and voted for Hillary, even though I knew that it didn't matter because I live in a very Democratic state, and electoral votes are by state. But all three of the other candidates were even worse...and Trump probably wasn't the worst. (That, I think, was the Libertarian candidate.)

But why would anyone like Hillary? She would probably have been technically competent, and she did have a few good features. (E.g., she liked least some kids.) But her goals were inscrutable. Most of her campaign was "He's worse!", which while true is hardly inspiring. So people stayed home in droves.


I guess we need to get dirty. There is a big force of people that was behind Clinton, lots of apolitical people joined. We just need some of them to step up front, to get fresh. Obama said that he wants to do grassroot movement when he gets off in Jan. So he can be some positive leadership force for it. Poor guy, can't catch a break. But first, they need to figure out who had good sense of this outcome and put them upfront to give some insight.


The important part was Compact. I'm afraid as hell of a convention, because the rules that govern it favor the crazies (votes done by state not by population).

Compacts are interstate agreements, under another article 1 power that act as binding agreements. There's rules on enacting it, but it allows an end run around amendments. Essentially this one makes it so each state will (upon having 271 votes in the compact) pledge all its votes to the popular vote winner, regardless of the EC winner.

The big deal is swing states need to want to give up the power and join it. Or a couple of big red states.

I'm hoping the inability for the GOP to actually govern will do what it always does, flip a bunch of the house seats under a vote the bums out movement. Considering there's not really a lot they can do about bringing factory jobs to small towns, and the incoming GFC it should help.

The big part is fresh leadership that knows what it is doing. I think the Clinton power base had too much control of the DNC and it hamstringed them to focus only on POTUS. Too many places where there were candidates who were unopposed in local elections, where the RNC won because the DNC didn't show up.


Why do you think there would be more nuclear explosions south of the equator? There are no states with nuclear weapons there*. Which countries in the southern hemisphere do you think will be attacked with nukes?

If I recall correctly On The Beach had about 50 nuclear armed nations, most or all of them with multi-megaton cobalt salted bombs.

I believe multi-megaton bombs are out of fashion, smaller more accurate and precise ones are cool these days. And cobalt salted bombs have never been produced.

All out nuclear war would be unspeakably horrific and might trash civilization completely, but I don't buy the lethal levels of nuclear fallout everywhere scenario without a couple of decades of a new nuclear arms race.

  • South Africa used to have them there, though.

The moment the election was lost was at the DNC when Clinton ran the "positive emotion sing-a-long with giant balloons" and a Wikileaks[1] banner went up. There was a crazy comment about it being an attempt to cast a spell or something on this blog[2]. You can't really run that kind of old folksy stuff when "We droned some folks" and "this is how the sausage is made" in the internet age. (I mean, you can: but it'll turn off a majority of the suspicious / non-core and just shows disrespect for an adult measured view of the world that runs above the 5th grade Press comprehension of most media).

Having been rather down today (with an obligatory "they'll kill her" said under their breath in my vicinity with no indication of whether I, or Clinton, was the target), new growth has blossomed and rebound is in effect. We're like that. Irrepressible. Alive.

Trump as anti-globalist / anti-neoliberal?

Possible (his pick for EPA director is all you need to know: if you want wild-life / drinking water left, start learning to monkey-wrench with extreme prejudice) and Koch is dancing right now. The way Wall Street reacted is telling, however. All priced in was the general outcome (with enough bounce for some decent insider trading / shorting).

More interestingly: FBI vrs DoJ with FBI being used as punishment for DoJ attempting to regulate business, yuuuge internal pie-fight[3]. Scuttle butt / rumors / wild fringe theories are that one of the reasons Dems caved was/is the threat of a purge 'with extreme prejudice'. (Pro-tip for DC Insiders / hipsters / alternative lifestylers - don't bait the crazies with Cheese Pizza[4] pictures/photshops on your instagrams no matter how clever you think you are, there's actually some non-crazy sharks with them who do.not.fuck.around and have Deus Vult ringing in their ears; international artist will get you a pass - otherwise you're 'on the menu', and permanently so).

A more cynical take is that 2016 is when the Predators got bored & could see the future of work / automation and decided to signal that it was hunting season. Or perhaps Trump is the Golden Throne, the One who can unite all under the Rule of Humanity.

More interestingly, even Nate Silver didn't call this. Apparently this blog did, if in a crazy manner - oh, and you probably want to ask why 10,000,000 or so less votes were cast for Clinton than Obama (it's a mixture - suppression, closing down locations, gerrymandering, Bern-outs and maybe other reasons to do with non-Russian electronic code issues).


2016 - Humanity isn't really passing the test. However: Cable / Print Media is basically over (looks at Murdoch: 'we are not amused', said a Prince about his romance - Establishment Official Tell there). One positive is the sheer weight / clout spent to alter the Clinton win - there was some serious burning of 'coin' to do so. ($$, reputations, influence, power, favors owed etc). Knowing how costly that spend was is somewhat heartening towards Democracy surviving.

But, at the core was the Democratic Party being lazy / reliant on old methodologies / not tooled up enough.


I'm calling it for the next global financial crisis to hit before the 2018 mid-terms.

That's very spot on: rumors are that with a President - Senate - Congress (full house!) any fall-out from dramatic events will land squarely on those who hold them. I mean, it's an interesting theory, and it's all consensual them-having-signed-up-for-the-job and all that.

[1] If you see Russians claiming they helped Wikileaks, just bear in mind their propaganda model already.

[2] Which wasn't crazy if you know your Media Theory.

[3] Wild rumor - last bastion of freedom was the DoJ. But that's Lizard People Land.

[4] Those little stunts cost you very very dearly indeed, more than you'd imagine.


Perhaps the people of Florida had the best idea after all. They voted for Trump but they also voted to legalise cannabis.


Sn #148, thanks for the thoughts. Things other than the usual post-mortem stuff to think about.

I haven't seriously engaged with the US right since Obama took office; expect that there are many others in the US who will re-involve themselves in politics, at all levels. It's the US right's turn to be lazy. The proposed EPA guy is interesting; starting to build a mental model of him. If they leave the air/drinking water pollution aspects of the EPA in place as suggested in September then the big deal politically will be GHG emissions. (Other EPA work is important too, yes.) Meet Trump's Cabinet-in-waiting (Politico 11/09/16 02:56 AM EST)

While Trump has called for eliminating the EPA, he has more recently modified that position, saying in September that he’ll “refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.


Re: 'The way Wall Street reacted is telling, however. All priced in was the general outcome (with enough bounce for some decent insider trading / shorting).'

No way to tell (yet) whether this was a market reaction or the US gov't on auto-pilot shoving coin to stop a stock market hemorrhage.


At 2:00 AM (EST) the US market futures were down about 1.5-2 percent IIRC. Perhaps there was also worry about a long drawn-out fight over election results as with the 2000 US election. Haven't looked at the trader press though.


I met a girl who sang the blues And I asked her for some happy news But she just smiled and turned away I went down to the sacred store Where I'd heard the music years before But the man there said the music wouldn't play

And in the streets, the children screamed The lovers cried and the poets dreamed But not a word was spoken The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost They caught the last train for the coast The day the music died


refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.

But for what value of "American"?


Nice (if unpleasant) capsule summary. It has the ring of truth to me, and now I'm kinda hoping Trump will make us Canucks build that wall he's always talking about to keep out him and his buddies. About the only thing I'd disagree with is that Trump will just sulk when he realizes how cumbersome a country is to run. I'm hoping he'll have an aneurysm from frustration. (Well, maybe not... it's not like Pence is much better. Worse, actually, since he actually knows a bit about how government works. To extend your plane wreck metaphor, he's actually used Microsoft Flight Simulator.)

Charlie notes: "I think I'm going to give up on writing near-future SF"

The standard dodge to avoid the problems you've encountered is pretty simple: pick some non-crucial event from just before the present that you can change, and that will arguably have no major consequences for the story world. Then change it*. Readers now know they're in a closely parallel world, and you've got carte blanche to do what you want.

  • For example, what if the Cubs won the world series? Implausible at best, but no significant effect on the world, but now we're clearly in AU territory.

Yeah, I know. It doesn't work that way. The better solution is to recognize that you're just trying to tell a damned good story, not predict the future, and let the cards fall where they may once the story's written. Of course, if you're trying to predict the future, that's kind of futile, n'est-ce pas?


See previous references by me about Manchuria & candidates ... However, will Trumpolni ever become Pres? If there's a statutory-rape charge outstanding ... Giving us Pres Pence - even worse?


So far, Putin has behaved almost entirely rationally and, in external affairs, has used force only in response to events that have threatened Russia.


I realise that we have diametrically opposed views on Putin (you believing that he is a rational actor by his own interpretation of what is good for Russia; me believing that he is a sociopathic actor by his own interpretation of what is good for himself and his cronies).

But describing the people of Aleppo or Eastern Ukraine as a "threat to Russia" IMHO requires the kind of cognitive dissonance normally only displayed by Trump supporters, the Daily Mail, and Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs. You'll be saluting his courage, his strength, and his indefatigability next...


Seriously: I thought of you and "Empire Games". And I wondered if you would change it. :-)


Even by your low standards of misrepresentation, that is unacceptable. Neither I nor he has EVER said that, not even according to the British press, and you know perfectly well what the (real, as documented in the Western press) threats to Russia were and are. Your ethics are lower than those of Farage, and are comparable with those of Trump.


That particular suit was dropped.

He still has the University one, not sure how much he is in trouble there compared to others involved. I am anxious to see what happens because of the firm stance of the Judge. The scenario goes like this, Judge Curiel calls him, asks inconvenient questions, orange-one gets pissed off and then what? What kind of pressure the new establishment is able and willing to put on judicial branch (apart from the Supreme Court).


"People will feel a strange sad fondness for the utopian era of good governance."

Huh?! What a bizarre thing to say! The U.S. had just experienced what's arguably one of the largest thefts in human history when Obama arrived in office (U.S. net worth declined 40% in the wake of Lehman's bankruptcy)

In the previous biggest-ever theft--the S&L scandal--over the objections of the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, the regulators filed 30,000+ referrals for criminal prosecution, prosecuted 1200+ cases with a 90% conviction rate (no mean feat considering the defense council the criminals could afford), and got some really big fish--Mike Milken and Charles Keating among them.

Fast forward to the sub-prime / derivatives meltdown, a scandal roughly 70 times larger, and guess how many referrals for criminal prosecution came from Bush 43/Obama regulators?....[wait for it]

Answer: Zero

How many prosecutions? About a dozen, all small fish.

The template for what happened to the real malefactors was Angelo Mozilo, who made nearly a half billion dollars running Countrywide Mortgage into the ground. He agreed to pay (depending on where you read) between $20 - $65 million in fines, without any admission of guilt, which makes civil cases more difficult to pursue.

Meanwhile, according to its own audit, the Fed pushed $16 - $29 trillion out the door to cure the frauds Ponzi capitalism wrought in 2007-8. (Dallas Fed estimates the net financial sector subsidy in the neighborhood of $13 trillion)

...and yet we somehow can't reverse the decline in Federal funding for higher education (down 55% since 1972) or stop the false panic about Social Security.

And this is your idea of a "utopian era of good governance."

I'd suggest people "voted with their middle finger" and said yes to Trump and Brexit not because they were nostalgic, but because they didn't believe even a narcissistic serial adulterer, abuser of women, etc. could be worse.

Just sayin'


I believe both China and India have nuclear weapons. Also somebody else...Pakistan? Afganistan? And any base that services nuclear subs.

Besides which, in a maximal nuclear war, anybody who's an ally of a nuclear power is likely to get hit. Not to worry, those, those ignored will get to freeze in the dark, as the nuclear winter shuts in. (Nuclear autumn is the forecast for a much milder effort. Say between India and Pakistan or Israel and somebody.) It would solve global warming for a few decades though.


It could be that he's remembering all those events, and still predicting that this will be looked back on as good governance. Things could get a lot worse. I don't know whether they will. The VP picks of both Clinton and Trump cause me to think that they might.


All of China and India are north of the Equator. The only nuclear weapons power south of the equator was the South Africans for a short period of time.


Charlie -- if the below works, maybe you can hop a ride off this planet before it implodes.


So... EM drive plus a thorium reactor, and once they've tooled up you have a working spacecraft for 5-10,000,000 - good for asteroid mining or tooling around the moons of Saturn or Jupiter, plus bigger ships if you want to spend more money... Sound like a fun environment for someone to play around in.


Personally, I voted for Pastel Thatcher, but you have probably guessed how I feel about that. I would have much preferred Bernie. Two thoughts:

Americans tend to be optimists. This means that we usually, as a group, pick the devil that we don't know.

Also, one of the main functions* of the Electoral College was to prevent a few populous states (NY, VA, later CA) from dominating the election; a presidential candidate needs broad appeal. It appears to be functioning as intended: Hillary won California by 28% and New York by 22%, but the system was designed to reward broad appeal over localized landslides.

Wish us luck.

*The other main function is obsolete now that sending a representative to Washington takes hours, not weeks, and sending a message takes seconds.


But for what value of "American"? Sorry, was being obtuse. The point is to partially neuter the political downside of neutering/partially dismantling the EPA by keeping (or loudly claiming to keep) the popular parts. One problem they will have is that the reality of the severity of human-caused climate change will become ever-increasingly obvious.


Don't forget that Trump and a GOP Congress means that the US is pretty much guaranteed to do nothing about climate change! Honestly, I'm thinking that apocalyptic, dystopian futures are just about the only thing left for you to write if you want any hope of writing believable SF.

Drowning coastal cities are just the most obvious result of the Trump victory. Some models suggest that the melting icecaps may disrupt the gulf stream, and, while the latest models suggest that this may actually be good for Europe (as it will slow the overall warming trend), it's going to make things a lot worse in other parts of the world (less heat going to Europe means more accumulating elsewhere). You think you have a refugee problem now!


Gee, nobody here seems to remember how things were back in 1980 when Ronnie Reagan got elected. The end of the world was near! The smiling fool was going to start a nuclear war with the russkies.

In the end he negotiated peace with Gorbachov.

I expect Trump to appear on TV with Putin in a near-regular series, among other things. The results will be interesting. Not sure if much lasting good will come out of it though.


Trump's particularly dangerous when he fails—it will be blamed on one or another sort of person who can then be fed to his standing lynch mob.


Oh, and I need to start an ImpeachTrump campaign. I mean, the GOP was planning it before Bill was inaugurated in '92, and sauce for the goose....

Be careful what you wish for. If Trump is impeached, Pence becomes President. Think what THAT means.


A few thoughts.

I find it strange how little commenters on this blog understand how an authoritarian government works (even though everyone seems to agree that Trump would have one).

The mechanics of a successful authoritarianism (think Putin regime) are actually well understood and I see no reason why they can't be imported to the US.

You start, of course, with persecution of the political opposition.

And this persecution must be broadly legal, legitimate for public and for this reason it must persecute the real, yes, very much real crimes the opposition has committed back when they were in power.

You thought "Lock her up" was just a catchy slogan? Think again...

Now, Clinton is probably a wrong choice for persecution, she is already a spent force.

I would suggest going after

a) Democratic foreign policy establishment (the charge - high treason and aiding the enemy - the Al Qaeda). The US Syrian policy under Obama gave enough meat for this charge, this would be very popular for the Republican electorate. You can't of course, charge Obama himself, but everyone else - Kerry, Ashton Carter, the guy that runs the CIA, etc.

Give Rudi Giuliani the job and he'll lock them up all!

b) US financial circles related to the Democratic party. Just brand them banksters and put them in prison for very real, financial crimes they committed since 2008.

US public will cheer and Trump's ratings will go to the roof. Also, the show trials will demoralise and destroy the political opposition, so he can keep staying in power.

Now, punishing the bastards is not enough to be a successful authoritarian.

Successful authoritarianism actually needs to raise incomes of the electorate. That's what Putin did, in US dollar terms, average Russian salary increased under his rule twenty-fold and this is how he legitimises his regime.

Could Trump do something similar for his electorate?

Of course, he can.

The list of policies employed by authoritarian governments for this purpose is well known. Some of them won't work in America (I doubt Trump will employ wealth distribution methods used by Chavez in Venezuela, for example), but some can and will.

Stop the immigration flow, deport illegal immigrants, adopt protectionist policies aimed at keeping jobs in the country and the most effective - run a vast infrastructure spending program (financed by more debt, obviously).

That should be enough to raise noticeably incomes of the Trump electorate. Not the twentyfold income increase of Putin's Russia (that was a result of unique set of circumstances), but enough to become noticed and win Trump re-election.

This ought to occupy his attention for the first term.


You are obviously unaware that Asia is in the northern hemisphere. The southernmost point of mainland Asia is still north of the Equator.


Don't forget that Trump and a GOP Congress means that the US is pretty much guaranteed to do nothing about climate change!

While I hope you're right, a big part of what the Republican party stands for is climate change. More oil, more coal, less renewable energy, fewer restrictions on pollution, and a strong desire to export those policies. So I predict they will do something about climate change - they will make it worse.


A lot of those predictions seem right except for the Obama Golden Age. Trumpism requires that it is restoring us from something horrible. Obama-Romney Care was decent with problems, had bad press for the get go, and all the tragedy that comes from its dismemberment will be blamed on those who created it. The Obama economy hasn't been great and he'll be blamed endlessly for it. (We'll ignore the limited role the president has in shaping it, the disasters he had to deal with upon taking office, the Republican House for the last six years, the sequester, and other hardships.) Foreign policy was reasonable but will be criticized endlessly. Basically, every problem with this country will be blamed on him vocally, at length, with attempts to ignore any reply.

re: financial prosecutions -- I wish we'd seen some of those, too. One of many early signs of our rot.

re: Constitutional Convention -- I can't see one ending without it baking a lot of current bad ideas into our country. There will be a Balanced Budget Amendment to make sure we can never have social programs. Term Limits to make lobbyists powerful. Elected judges so they'll need to wheedle money and keep an eye on their next gig. Large parts of the Bill of Rights will be gone. I doubt we'd get anything useful like electoral reforms that make third parties other than a waste. Best case I can think of, the results are bad enough that, like our old Articles of Confederation, we assemble again a decade later having given things serious thought.


how little commenters on this blog understand how an authoritarian government works

Especially since most of them appear to live in countries with such governments. To misquote "authoritarianism is already here, it's just unevenly distributed". Obviously ubiquitous surveillance (the internet). But from the UK use of child informants (Muslim children only, so far) to the US secret prisons (we learned about Chicago) to the Australian torture camps, a scary amount of the system is already in place.


Er, technically, they're not actually for climate change (how can you be for or against a myth). What they're for is business as usual, big oil, less restrictions on pollution and all that. Which will inevitably result in climate change--but climate change isn't their actual goal.

(Unless you go with the old theory from the 1960s Newspaper comic artist Dan O'Neill that pollution is a plot by aliens to make our climate more like theirs, to pave the way for their takeover.)

In any case, I think we're in agreement about the most likely outcome here, however you might prefer to phrase it. ;)


On the other hand, Trump's election helps increase the options for those who want to flee Brexit. Come to (soon-to-be) sunny, tropical Canada! :D


Regarding using political prosecutions to crush the opposition, I think it's worth pointing out that there's no need for the prosecution to actually succeed or to actually be a prosecution.

Note how effectively the House Republicans have used their arbitrary power to "investigate" the Clintons over the years. The proceedings were all basically garbage, but served to cast mud on their political dynasty. And finally the whole emails witch hunt, without a doubt the most pretty and ridiculous of them all, was sufficient to strongly hurt her if not cost her the election outright.


not actually for climate change (how can you be for or against a myth)

There's increasing evidence that many of the key people knew about and actively worked against acceptance of AGW. It's like they say on the other hot topic, "If you knowingly vote for a racist, bigoted rapist, then that says you are fine with racism, bigotry and sexual assault, at least to a degree that matters. That’s a decision every single one of those voters made".

Likewise, if you actively work against climate change mitigation, you're FOR climate change.


One interesting thing about Trump is that pretty much the entire Republican national security establishment has been opposed to him. According to the Trump natsec transition team leader, “it was going to be very difficult to fill positions in that space because everybody that had experience was a never-Trumper.” Say what you will about neo-cons, but they find Trump despicable and dangerous and want nothing to do with him. Of course, this also probably means a bunch of amateurs will end up running things.


Google Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn.

It seems he will now rule over Trump's national security team. Not an amateur, but a disgruntled military intelligence pro who felt betrayed by Obama administration's policy regarding war on terror.

His basic point - Obama unilaterally stopped war on Al Qaeda after death of Bin Laden and his attention was instead diverted into other pointless ventures in the Middle East - overthrowing Qaddaffi or Assad or waging war on ISIS.

This caused great harm to American national security, because it allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and recover and now it is greater threat than it was back in 2011.

In short, we are going back to early days of Bush-II administration's war on terror circa 2001-2003, before it got sucked into the Iraq quagmire.


SFReader3 @ 183: Flynn doesn't count as being part of the Republican natsec establishment on the grounds of being a registered Democrat :). (not joking about his regisration though, that's what he says)

Flynn can't be Defense Secretary without a waiver because he served on active duty within the last seven years, and I'm not certain a Republican Congress would want to grant one to a guy who has a show on RT and has lunch with Putin. National Security Adviser is possible as that doesn't require confirmation. Since he says there's an alliance between Pyongyang, Havana, al Qaeda, ISIS, and Tehran I'd say he's more "Axis of Evil" stage Bush, and has gone a bit 'round the bend.

And that's still just one. The DHS transition team alone is supposed to have 20 people.


How so?

Please, list the actual physical threats posed to Russia. Explain how NATO is an existential threat to its sovereignty.

Because the only threat is that posed to Russia's perceived right to bully its neighbours into doing what it demands; and the real, unacceptable threat is that posed by publicity exposing and thus damaging the Russian elite's ability to steal the wealth of the nation.

The Kremlin shrieks about the threat of single-number missile defence launchers, and ignores the fact that it's had a working system on a far larger scale for decades. It shouts about NATO encroaching towards borders, but is only too happy to send its own troops across those borders (Georgia, Ukraine). It shouts about the murderous screw ups of the west, but is unable to admit that its proxy forces shot down MH17.

Putin and his friends have slowly grabbed all of the media channels, restricted political opposition, and there's a demonstrable tendency for inconvenient politicians and journalists to end up dead.

I said to someone yesterday "Welcome to 1933" - because my fear is that we're going to see Stalinist versus (Godwin) politics played out all over again.


Yes, they know perfectly well what they are doing & don't care ....


Last night "the Boss" was at her financial firm's annual bash for clients ... the US visitors & staff were all in deep shock. It is thought that those over here will probably not return to the USSA whilst Trumpolini is in power.

It's going to be bad for every one (see predictions @ 173 from SF Reader ) but in the US, it's going to be worse. Obamacare will be ripped up - millions of USians will go back to, effectively no healthcare. Trade barriers will be erected, wrecking the economy The death-rate amongst the minorities from brutal official (police) action will increase. Women will be utterly fucked (deliberate use of word) in most ways, but especially re. abortion. Even if the EPA is not disbanded (difficult, because it's enshrined in legislation & court decisions) it will be gutted. There will be a significant exodus of skilled/technical/artistic expertise. Christianity will extend its strangling tentacles. Some very rich & corrupt people ( e.g. Kochs) will get a lot richer - incidentally, I doubt if "The people" will get any richer - the only place where I think SF reader has it possibly wrong, if only because Donaldo & his friends are too greedy, corrupt & long-term stupid [ VERY "smart" in the short-term, mind ] to pay attention to that one. IF Charlie's prediction of a markets crash sometime 2018-19 comes true, then he will be finished unless they rig the election, or will they be able to blame that on the "jewish financiers" I wonder?

Again read up on how Benito Mussolini held on to power & study Putin / Erdogan - maybe Orban as well.

I have deliberately left foreign policy, if only because my brain hurts.


My prediction: tourist visas for US citizens become much harder to get in many countries because Trump will say something stupid. "Monsewer President, have some Freedom Fries" "Premier Mblackfella you look like my driver"

The really, really, really bad news? You thought this campaign was atrocious? Wait til 2020.


Many people are sure to have been overjoyed, or perhaps triumphantly vindicated, on hearing the results of the nationwide election Wednesday morning. On the other hand, I was just as surely not the only one to feel the proverbial sinking feeling, that heart in throat panic you experience just after a roller coaster hits a high point and starts to plummet. For me, that was followed by a flurry of impulses and emotions. I considered despairing of the system and the American people. Alternatively, I considered that perhaps my political preferences might be wrong, that the wisdom of the crowd had a lesson for me. In the end, the strongest urge is summed up by the resolve to not hear any more, to withdraw into a smaller world of disengagement.

But then I remembered the larger picture. Rather than resort to fanaticism, submission, or apathy, I have decided that perhaps this is a time to remember why I have selected my particular political leanings, why I supported the side I did, and to look for where to go from here based on all that.

I believe what we call the "liberal" side in America should have more power because at least its heart is in the right place. Better a bumbling hero than a competent villain. The idea is that government, far from necessarily being a tyrant, can be a force in favor of maximizing liberty. Conversely, all tyranny is not necessarily from government, it can often be from powerful private-sector forces (which in turn often use and abuse government). That being my general quibble with conservatism as it has been practiced, I saw the recent contest as a choice between a change for the worse and some semblance of the status quo. But it seems people wanted change, and those on my side should understand what we did wrong, and what we failed to recognize.

This doesn't mean giving up or even moderating our fundamentals, but doing what we do smarter. We should take this "opportunity to excel" (aka "challenge") as a call to self examination and improvement. We should come out of this, eventually, focused on what counts first, rather than spending our energy in every shiny direction. Rather than anger, or renewed calls for ideological purity, or surrender of our principles and dreams, we should examine ourselves and our priorities and look for what is holding us back. And rather than despair, we should, in a positive way, redouble our commitment to the core of our cause.


Climate change is happening regardless of what we do. Being "for" or "against" it is like being "for" or "against" the tide. The greenhouse gasses which have been added, were added before we knew or could do anything, will continue heating for hundreds of years even if we completely stopped adding to them right now. There is no drastic action we can take to avoid this. All we can do is stop adding glass to the greenhouse (quite so fast) and wait for natural processes to eventually degrade it. We cannot affect whether global warming, climate change whatever, occurs, we can only marginally affect how bad it gets and how long it lasts. Sure, a transition to different forms of energy is a good idea, but there is no looming cliff that we can avoid if we slam on the brakes NOW, and for that matter there are effectively no brakes. We are already over the cliff and sailing through the air. All we can do is affect how we brace for impact and perhaps which part of our vehicle strikes the ground first and at what angle.


A very few (probably less than 10 across all general and by-elections since 1900) UK constituencies (typically ~50000 population at the time of the relevant election) have been won by single figure numbers of votes. Let's say it was 5 to make the sums easy; that's a majority of 5/50000, or 0.01%. Of course, these results were only declared after multiple manual recounts of the physical ballots.


(how can you be for or against a myth). Well, a significant number of them self-describe as Xtians. ;-)


Scotland: it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Scottish independence won't happen in the short term unless there's a hard Brexit overriding the Scottish Parliament's wishes and a peculiar set of conditions that permit Scotland to pull the eject handle and motivate the voters to do so more emphatically than in 2014. And it probably won't happen if the EU -- as a supranational "safe harbour" and eventual alternative currency union once the Brexiters finish trashing Sterling -- disintegrates, which it might in the coming chaos.

I'm mulling over a new essay in a day or two, in which I re-evaluate the Beige Dictatorship post I did in early 2013 in light of subsequent events. TLDR: the Beige Dictatorship is indeed breaking down, but what's replacing it is a really nasty re-run of Weimar politics in the 1920s, minus the relatively-sane social democrats (who are irrevocably tarnished with Beige in the minds of many of the voters). This is a global phenomenon and there may be no safe harbour anywhere in the developed world.


If we are assuming that "Good Governance" consists of droning more people and initiating more wars than even George Bush and Cheney managed to do and

You missed:

  • Normalizing relations with Cuba
  • Ramping down the war rhetoric with Iran, getting a nuclear disarmament deal, first steps towards normalizing relations with Iran
  • First USA-wide step towards universal healthcare (via insurance, admittedly)
  • Large-scale job creation (unemployment fell continuously under Obama)
  • Getting large-scale US forces of occupation out of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • NOT invading the entire Middle East b/c of fallout from the Arab Spring

(Last items: replaced with drones, much smaller military advisor commitment. Could you see a circa-2004 GWB not sending the USMC to occupy Benghazi and invade Libya in the wake of a certain incident at the US embassy there during the civil war? Leading to another quagmire/middle eastern occupation?)

The thing with good governance is that it's like good management, or oxygen; you only notice it when it goes away.

Sarkozy is loathed by part of the population, a Sarkozy - Le Pen face up may end up as Le Pen.

Look at the numbers.

In 2012 Sarko got 9.7 million votes in the 1st round, Hollande 10 million and Marine 6 million.

Assume Hollande's vote falls to the point where he doesn't get into the 2nd round, being split between him, Melanchon, the greens and various little parties -- like happened to Jospin.

Sarko goes into the 2nd round with around 10 million votes, Marine with maybe 7 million. Sarko needs to pick up 5 million more votes to win, Marine needs 8 million.

Some of the left will vote for Sarko just to keep Marine out. Sarko can also count on most of the votes from the centrists (Modem).

But where does Marine get extra votes from? The only reserve she could have are the people who are voting for Sarko and a few tiny little sovreignist parties.

Yes, Sarko wouldn't win with 80% of the 2nd round vote like Chiraq did (and don't forget that Chiraq was at that time widely detested too).

When Marine's dad was in the same situation he managed to pick up 700,000 votes in the second round. He needed 10 million.

Marine could only win if she goes into the second round with more votes than Sarko and every single left or centre voter abstains. And if she's in the lead that will not happen.

I've made this claim in other forums and people said to me "what about Trump, huh, they said that can't happen". The difference is the American system (electoral college, two "official" parties) is designed to make sure Trump can happen. The French system is more or less the opposite -- the final victor must have a majority of the voters.

To put it another way -- it was obvious Trump would get at least ~45% of the voters, in the end he got 47.5%. It's more or less certain that Marine will get around 20-25% of the voters. She would need more than 50% to win.


You said "christianity will extend it's strangling tentacles". Only a certain variety, deviate from that much and those believers are as out of favor as atheists. And isn't it interesting how atheists are shaped by the beliefs they left?


"Empire Games" is at the printer, so far too late to change.

The time lines in it hold up, anyway; it's just that the context in which the book will be read has mutated, so that the ~USA is no longer visibly worse than actual reality and may be perceived as an improvement. Which was not the idea!


There are many second, third, nth generation atheists who haven't left any belief.


Not going to say it's impossible but in broad terms, I agree with John. And I must add, at least as seen from Spain, the French system to choose a president seems increasingly attractive. Are you feeling, let's say, rebellious? You can vote whatever you want in the first round, trotskist, maoist, FN, green, reptilian... you name it. But when the second round comes, you know this time is the real thing, and even more, you know how many votes did the other side get and how many more it needs.

In France you can be forced to choose between the fascist and the crook, as they said of Le Pen and Chirac, but you won't find one of them winning in just one stroke. Just to propose a 'gedankenexperiment': what would have happened if the Brexit referendum had used a two rounds system, with a series of options first, and the the two most voted passing to the final round?


I predict they will do something about climate change - they will make it worse.

Silver lining news: they may not be able to.

Renewable power now employs more Americans than coal and oil (think rooftop solar fitters, for example). The price per kWh of solar has crashed over the past decade until it's cheaper than coal. Elon Musk has built a business with a double-digit billion market cap and Apple-circa-2006 growth levels based on vertical integration of consumer photovoltaic (Solar City), domestic heavy-duty batteries, and sexy automobiles (Tesla) -- the latter now being the #1 aspirational mid-to-high level luxury car brand (outselling BMW and Mercedes in California, expanding rapidly, heading down-market).

Elon's business isn't an accident: he sat down and did a clean-sheet study of challenges facing humanity in the 21st century circa 2001 and decided to single-handedly work to get us off fossil fuels, and it looks like the avalanche is now gathering momentum under its own weight.

Short of the Trump administration actively legislating against cheap solar -- which will get them lots of angry consumer push-back and lobbying dollars thrown in their face -- even subsidizing coal and oil won't turn the clock back by more than 1-2 years on this phase transition.


Partially agree, I still think that "Don't treat others in a way that you would see as abhorrent if it was done to you." is a fine concept, and accept the hit that comes from trying to practice it in the United States. No longer believe in a "Big Sky Fairy" who'll comfort the victims and punish the vile perps.


"If the lawsuits against Trump hold water, the republican machine can use it as an excuse to throw him under the bus; wait for him to lose a child rape case or something, then impeach him fastidiously and put Pence in the White House while reshuffling the deck so that Republican "normality" can reassert itself overt the guy riding the out of control steam roller of rage."

Charlie (and everybody else) please remember that 90-odd % of the GOP establishment fell obediently into line, even when it looked like he'd lose, due to fear of his base.

At this point, he won, and his base (for now) is much larger than previously thought. Tump is the GOP.

And IMHO, lawsuits are rather easy to get dismissed, when the plaintiffs don't dare show their faces due to death threats.


"Does Putin really possess the judgement to know exactly how far to go? I think his temperament is to try it on as hard as he can, relentlessly. What happens at the point where Donald feels imposed upon, insulted, slighted, belittled?"

My impression is that he's very, very good - as a friend pointed out: (1) He made it to the top of the system on his own, (2) He's KGB - compromise and subterfuge are familiar tools, (3) He's a skilled judo practitioner.

My guess is that he'll play nice with Trump, flattering his ego, and agreeing on spheres of influence. And on top of that there's likely some very compromising material on Trump's business partners from Russia.


Have moved from depressed to disgusted, after seeing how nearly 47% of registered voters didn't, and 66% of shiksaswhite women went with The Rump.

In Colorado we went to Clinton by only 2%. A Democratic Senate incumbent was reelected, but a Republican House Rep. in my area was also—his Democratic opponent was a transgender woman with no experience, she got nearly a third of the vote, which is rather respectable. In state ballot issues an attempt to set up a statewide health care system was stomped on by almost 80%, but Assisted Suicide for terminally ill patients passed, so if you're unable to get decent reatment you can end your days painlessly if prematurely (that's an attempt at sarcasm). Also barely defeated was a proposed amendment to the state constitution to remove language that allowed enslavement as punishment for crimes. But a minimum wage increase did pass. So a big ol' mixed bag.


"Looking back at previous presidents, I do find quite a lot of cause for optimism where Trump is concerned. The US Presidency was designed by very smart and wise people to be an office occupied by one man, and a huge number of checks and balances hidden behind him."

Just as the USA has morphed from a thing coastal strip of ex-colonies into a world-spanning empire, so has the US Presidency morphed from what it was into a very, very powerful office.

And again, note that Trump whipped the GOP leadership into line before he won.


At some point Donald Trump will meet Boris Johnson. Let's just hope they stick to criticising each other's hair.


Another thing, if Trump can deliver a working economy (FFCIH), some thirsty, polluting tech is going to be retired, which should accelerate the transition. Even the "Look how big mine is" performance cars are delivering economy that would've been enviable in a family car forty years ago, similar gains will come from HVAC systems and major appliances.


Assisted Suicide for terminally ill patients passed, so if you're unable to get decent treatment you can end your days painlessly if prematurely (that's an attempt at sarcasm). I'm not sure that deserves sarcasm; these days "terminal palliative life extension care" is effectively legalised torture in some cases.


And IMHO, lawsuits are rather easy to get dismissed, when the plaintiffs don't dare show their faces due to death threats I think you've been watching too many USian "police procedurals"!


OTOH Tesla have announced that they will no longer subsidise owners by supplying them with infinite free recharges as of next march.

And IMHO, lawsuits are rather easy to get dismissed, when the plaintiffs don't dare show their faces due to death threats I think you've been watching too many USian "police procedurals"!

You are aware that the child rape lawsuit has been dropped due to the victim receiving such threats?

Quoth her attorney, emphasis mine:

Jane Doe has received numerous threats today as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented


Applies to new customers. Tesla have grown big enough fast enough that unlimited juice is beginning to be a significant cost. On the other hand, next year they should be introducing the Tesla Model 3 (significantly cheaper, significantly higher volume) and solar rooftops will be cheaper in turn.

It's a one-way ratchet: the further the tech develops the cheaper it gets which means there's more money to perpetuate the roll-out.


Where are you getting those figures? Fivethirtyeight says 53% of white women voted for Trump, 45% for white women with college degrees and 62% for white women without college degrees. Even white men are only listed at 63% (but white men without college degrees...yeesh).

You are right about turnout: Trump performed at the same level as Romney/McCain; Hillary lost 7-10 Million compared to Obama. I have see some claim that a small number of Republicans turned to HRC and third party options, while a moderate number of midwestern Democrats voted for Trump. But a lot of people just did not vote.

There are people who want to blame African Americans and others blame Cuban Americans in Florida; some blame white men or young people or old people or the rich or the working-class or suppression or Jill Stein or Johnson or whatever. At the end of the day, I blame people who voted for Trump.

I could blame people who negligently fail to vote, but I could rail about that any year. If the majority of Americans were Trump supporters, which is not the case, I would be hard pressed to say I wanted them to exercise their patriotic duty, even if that is the civics class answer we are all supposed to give.


Me: "And IMHO, lawsuits are rather easy to get dismissed, when the plaintiffs don't dare show their faces due to death threats"

paws4hot: "I think you've been watching too many USian "police procedurals"!"

Go to a history professor, and ask him/her/it to download a brief summary of Earth History for the old reckoning year '2016' into your neural network.


Okay - so what industries will be the major winners this round?

Seems that solar/PV may be here to stay because it's being supported by a fellow billionaire.

Arms - surely DT wants to stick his name on a big fat torpedo/missile (Freudians take this as you will).

Street drugs - homegrown labs vs. imports ... maybe more kids will take chem class in HS? Also input chems for said home labs?

Jails - because anyone caught doing anything that DT doesn't like will be tossed into the can ... and BTW a prison record means you lose your right to vote.

Drones - for civic surveillance so that every citizen gets their own personal drone assigned to them.

Internet providers - got to keep the lines clear for the drones

FOX - communications ... probably DT will want to show how he runs a country, so live-streaming Oval Office meetings.

'Industries' that will lose ...

County, i.e., non-profit hospitals

Walmart - major importer/retailer of off-shore shoddy goods (although considering how vile their employee policies/working conditions, may not be a bad thing)

Tourism - wonder how many non-US tourists have already cancelled their trips/hotel bookings? (Charlie - will you be going to Boscone - Feb 17-19, 2017?)

Basic scientific research ... seriously, there's been on-going discussion on this in top international science journals. Also - foreign post-docs/researchers/grad students ... just how secure/welcome will they feel?


It's important to note that Trump himself doesn't really have political positions, and doesn't seem to have the ability to be goaded into acting in accordance with anybody. He's unlikely to get a second term, and he's not a professional politician, so there's no reason for him to actually try to keep any of his campaign promises or try to please the people who voted him in. He's dangerous in a way Hillary isn't because he doesn't plan or care, but the very tendencies that make him liable to send nukes to the UK over a nasty remark on twitter are the tendencies that make him liable to not roll back marriage equality, etc. The best thing Trump could do is, immediately after being sworn in, going on a 4 year vacation and forgetting to hand Pence the keys: for the most part, the government would roll on without a president in the seat, & the worst excesses of a right-wing congress would be halted.

I'm worried about ill-fated military adventures, but I'm more worried that Pence will end up in charge proper (although I don't see Trump taking orders, Pence might be able to play the submissive but useful advisor). My biggest fear is Trump's worst supporters seeing their victory as an excuse for bad behaviors that they would previously have been ashamed of, since they do not have the oversight and the machinery of government working against the worst of what they might do -- in other words, as bad as the police can be in the united states, the police at least theoretically have oversight, while police turning a blind eye to vigilantes who want to rid the area of whoever they consider undesirable is a lot worse at scale.


Not a bad idea ... maybe folks here can come with a few contributions ...

How this relates to the current topic ...


'Seeing an emoji of something has a normalizing effect, says entrepreneur Alli McKee, who helped design the science group’s new emoji. Anna Smylie, a designer who also helped to create the new illustrations, says seeing science emoji would keep the subject at the forefront of people's thoughts.'


As I said, he is an arsehole bearing a grudge against Clinton - there's no need to believe the conspiracy theory propaganda. I have no view on whether he was guilty of sexual assault or even rape. But his claim that the intent of the EXTRADITION was extraordinary rendition fits the evidence vastly better than the denial. Inter alia, it's not a normal procedure for mere police interrogation - certainly not without trying other methods first.


Tourism - wonder how many non-US tourists have already cancelled their trips/hotel bookings? (Charlie - will you be going to Boscone - Feb 17-19, 2017?)

I will probably be going to Boskone because it coincides with my annual business trip to NYC, and I can't see Trump doing that much damage to Massachusetts in his first month in office.

I am still deciding whether or not to cancel my other US convention appearance of the year (a guest of honour slot). Normally, once I accept a convention invitation I will honour it, short of serious illness or a family medical crisis. However, fears over personal safety are also a valid reason for cancelling, and I just don't know right now how I feel about visiting Texas next September.


Okay - so what industries will be the major winners this round?

I heard a bit of Trump's post-election speech yesterday, and he stated that he will build a lot of infrastructure, so I'd expect to see a lot of rebuilding/reconstruction of roads, bridges, utilities, telecom, etc.

What makes this interesting is that U.S. Democrats really like infrastructure projects, and that if such projects are well-designed they tend to do a lot of economic good over a very long time. And Trump likes building stuff. It's his core competency, to whatever extent the man might be competent at anything. (Before you completely dismiss Trump's competence, try building a very large project in New York and see how far you get!)

This leads to a scenario which I find very unlikely, but I'm going to discuss it because the logic follows very nicely, and that is that Trump could find himself governing from the center with a lot of Democratic backing if he's smart enough to stay away from social issues and concentrate on building/rebuilding infrastructure. It everyone plays it intelligently, this cuts the radical far-right out of the equation, and sees Trump getting bills passed by a combination of Democrats and the less-crazy Republicans, all of whom would be bringing home jobs and massive amounts of pork.

What makes this highly unlikely, of course, is that both skill and logic are completely missing from the current equation, and I can't see Trump giving up the opportunity to attack the minorities he clearly hates. But the idea interesting to consider.

What's far more likely, of course, is that Trump will handle the levers of power in the same fashion that Invader Zim commands a battle bot in Operation Impending Doom. "Silence! Twist those knobs! Twist them! Pull those levers! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"


It's isn't just Pence. We don't know what other screwloose bigots will get senior positions, and whether they will be given a free rein.


"What makes this interesting is that U.S. Democrats really like infrastructure projects, and that if such projects are well-designed they tend to do a lot of economic good over a very long time. And Trump likes building stuff. It's his core competency, to whatever extent the man might be competent at anything. (Before you completely dismiss Trump's competence, try building a very large project in New York and see how far you get!)"

The man lost money with casinos - a (at least partial) government-enforced monopoly in a business where people give you money.

His track record is a long string of deliberately stiffing contractors, even stiffing the lawyers which he used to stiff others.

He started out with a massive pile of money and a father well-established in the business, and went down from there.

His credit is only good with Russian mafy - sorry, 'oligarchs'. And Deutsche Bank.

Now pile that on top of a GOP which hasn't had a constructive idea since Dubya's father retired, and a media which isn't interested in boring stuff like facts, and see what happens.


OK, I'm not building stuff in Manhattan (directly) but if I'd inherited the same sum as Trump on the same date, and invested it all in a Dow Jones tracker fund, I'd be richer than he is. Still think he's a good businessman?


The big cities in Texas tend to be pretty liberal, and a Scottish person is not likely to trigger the average redneck's racist tendencies, so I'd expect you to be very safe anywhere outside of some little redneck town, even during a Trump Presideny. I wouldn't expect Jewish ancestry to be an issue in the big cities unless you wore it on your sleeve in a gigantic and unlikely fashion.

Even in the "little redneck town" I wouldn't expect any problems as long as you didn't rile up the locals with your weird liberal talk. It's just that your chances of being harassed in Austin or Houston are 1/1,000,000 and your chances of being harassed in Waldrip are 1/10,000.

Short version: Don't worry about it. The worst that's likely to happen is some yokel will offer you Guinness instead of Old Jock.


Just for the record, I don't think Trump's a good businessman. All the evidence says he's not. But he's weirdly lucky and he's an excellent bullshitter. And note that the scenario above is very unlikely. Just logical if you're not Trump.

But if Trump wants to make his mark by building infrastructure, I say we give him every bit of help necessary to do that, because all the alternatives suck!


I'm sorry to say that you mat be horribly correct, Charlie. If "the Donald" is, indeed Donaldo Trumpolini, though & this is approx 1922, where & who is the next Adolf?

Also: JRRT "After a defeat & a respite, the Shadow takes on a new form & grows again"


That's another one we missed. under Clinton Cuba-USA relations would have proceeded back to "Normal" I suspect that they won't, now. |TO say the least.


NO ALL religions are based on fear & blackmail. Or hadn't you noticed?


the worst excesses of a right-wing congress would be halted.

With a president doing nothing at all, don't all bills become law after 10 days unless they are vetoed? Except for those passed less than 10 days before the end of a session.


CORRECTION: It's isn't just Pence. We don't know what other screwloose bigots will get senior positions, and whether how far they will be given a free rein.


The problem with this is where the money comes from. It has to be one of:

a) Raise taxes on the rich (He says he'll cut them.)

b) Raise taxes on the middle class (That will be real popular.)

c) Raise taxes on the poor (But they by definition don't have much money.)

d) Borrow it, raising the national debt (Don't know what he has said about it, but is the Republican Congress going to do a 180 on this?)

e) Cut wasteful spending elsewhere (Everyone is in favor of this but somehow it never happens. Why will it happen this time?)

f) Sell off or "privatize" public assets (Only vaguely feasible option as far as I can see.)

g) Other?

e) Cut wasteful spending elsewhere (Everyone is in favor of this but somehow it never happens. Why will it happen this time?)

It just depends how you define "wasteful". You might consider the existence of the EPA to be wasteful, for example. Or subsidies on solar power or electric vehicles. Or the way the FDA interferes with the market in medical treatments. There are so many places to save money!


With Republicans its definitely "Borrow it, raising the national debt." It's O.K. to borrow if you're a Republican President, but not if you're a Republican talking about a Democratic President. It's even worse (to a Republican) if you're a Black, Democratic president.

In actual fact, the Democrats in the U.S. do a much better job of managing the money. National debt tends to rise during times when Republicans are president and stay level or go down while Democrats are president.


Re: 'I will probably be going to Boskone ...'

Great - have a penciled-in trip to Boston that week and hope to extend it to attend. What odds of you doing a kaffeeklatch?



Could this invalidate the election result? I doubt it, but ......


g) Raising tariffs on international trade (probably self-defying, but he might try) h) Bring the Fed in government control and print money


This won't invalidate the election result. The worst that could happen (and I do mean WORST) is that we learn Trump has taken Russian money and made promises, in which case I'd guess that we end up with Trump's running mate as president, and Pence is Not a Nice Guy who actually does know how to run a government.


High odds: I usually do one.


Republicans will borrow money. That's the end of the story. They will also "save" money by getting rid of "unnecessary" parts of the government, as above, but its not really about "saving" money.


Which reminds me, I wonder if he will want to "renegotiate" Treasury debt, or just stiff the holders of it.


Don't oversimplify, it's not all balderdash, and I don't mind laying hands on a good idea, it's not as if a lot of 'em were using it after all...


Fears of a nuclear confrontation with Russia were never very convincing. Putin's acting out is all about domestic politics and to a lesser extent gaining some respect, or at least caution, from Western states. Economic interests are in reality closely aligned, and in the real world Russias military might is an illusion.

China on the other hand ....

This could be a problem.


They're still counting in California. 1% is not a statistical tie, but is within the margin of error for the polls


Which funny enough is mostly americans.

I do wonder what we're going to get. I know someone who worked in the Cal government when Schwarzenegger won. In the early meetings (mostly dealing with public commissions), Schwarzenegger was a log. He was uninterested in the day to day work.

Schwarzenegger liked the fun stuff like ribbon cuttings, giving awards, etc. He early on let policy guys from the national RNC run stuff. (All Neo-cons). It was constant strife for him as the state congress repudiated most of the neo-con policy stuff.

Schwarzenegger then did a gamble, and used his personal popularity behind a special election for several ballot measures that would bypass the state senate. He lost badly. So he pivoted. The national RNC guys got the boot, he started appointing and backing moderates including democrats in bi-partisan showings, and signed a bunch of reform work that was actually center-left. The onion even used this headline in 2010 "Hulking Strongman Now Only Voice Of Reason In Republican Party".

Which now makes me wonder. What will we get. As HRC began to lose, the future markets tanked. During Trump's speech, which was statesman like and offered concessions and bridge building, the futures started to shoot back up.

I personally don't know. I'm hoping showman who goes against the party and discredits tea-party leadership which has never governed. But my gut says he's gonna let the RNC nerds he likes run things.


I not only was unaware, I disbelieved it so much that the first time it was (implicitly) cast into doubt, I misread the comment. After running across another, more explicit rebuttal, I went and looked it up. Since this is the third correction, let me apologize for the mistake. I looked it up, and not only is all China north of the equator, so is India, which I found difficult to believe. I wouldn't have believed that the Indian Ocean was that ... tall? high? wide? (Ok, not wide. That would be East-West spread.)


ilya187, responding to the suggestion of an ImpeachTrump campaign, noted: "Be careful what you wish for. If Trump is impeached, Pence becomes President. Think what THAT means."

It means that in terms of providing an anti-assassination motivation, Pence is at least equal to Dan Quayle of blessed memory. (What's that you say? He's still alive? See? It works!)


Republicans will borrow money. That's the end of the story. Agreed. The general-purpose acronym that applies is "IOKIYAR". Plus, the US badly needs a lot of infrastructure spending and interest rates are low, so the technical arguments will be pretty easy. Cronyism will be a problem and so will useless infrastructure spending, but both can be played to the disadvantage of Republicans to the extent that they happen and the press/activists dig into them.


China on the other hand ....

This could be a problem.

Or Iran. Imagine Trump and Netanyau bombing the hell out of Iran and Iran responding with forming an alliance with ISIS and bombing the hell out of the west.


(Re Russian-Trump campaign contacts.)

While I anticipate that very bad or at least very interesting things are going to ensue as a result 11/9 (*), contacts between a campaign and foreign governments do not, in and of themselves, seem objectionable. Jaw-jaw and all that. Cutting shady deals would be another matter, of course.

(*) I did my best to avert that but, alas, failed.


I am worried about this "pull out of Japan and Korea and let them build their own nukes" idea.

So many ways for that to not go well.


No one thinks that Russia wants to displace China as purveyor of gadgets to the world? Russia's economy needs a boost and playing Russia against China could be a good tactical move in negotiating TPP and/or re-negotiating any EU-US agreements.


You're white, you'll be fine. To see another example of this principle in action, notice that Trump is gushing about the possibility of a US-UK trade deal, when he just finished campaigning against trade deals. "Foreign"="brown" -> US-UK=good, NAFTA=bad (b/c Mexico)


The big cities in Texas tend to be pretty liberal... Short version: Don't worry about it.

Yeah. See for how 11/9 played out in the big cities.

Said big cities have substantial Jewish and Muslim communities and are pretty laid back about such things. One of the checkers at my local jewish-themed supermarket(*) is a black woman who wears a hijab and seems not to have sparked any riots for the past couple of years.



Importantly (and this may not be true in other countries), "real estate developer" is not like other businesses. For real estate developers, everything depends on transactions that are leveraged through debt. Trump hasn't built a "business" in the traditional sense of providing goods and services that people like enough to purchase at a profit. The process of buying, (re)developing a building, and then making a profit from it is really just one big transaction, as opposed to having to rely on a customer base to come and make purchases on an ongoing basis. So if you structure the deal right, you can make (or lose) a ton of money in one transaction. Throw in complicated and unique federal, state, and local tax incentives, and and it's really a very strange business model.


NO chance. Da'esh wants to exterminate all Shias. What Iran might do is to provide advanced weapons to the Houthis, Hamas and Hesbollah, and arm the Bahrain population. And possibly the Kurds. Despite claims by Saudi Arabia (and Clinton), they are NOT doing this at present.


As noted before, this is all about something slightly askew from the 'traditional' hatreds:

Nissan Smoliansky (Habayit Hayehudi) then joked that caucus members got carried away. “When I heard the people here, it seemed as if any minute Trump will walk in and sit down as the head of our party, because ‘we’ won,” he said, adding: “Obama is gone, Trump is in, but we need to work on the inside and tell the prime minister, lead the right-wing parties. There’s no more excuse of being afraid of Obama. We have to start moving ahead,” Smoliansky said in the meeting.

Right-wing Israeli Lawmakers Celebrate Trump’s Victory: 'Time to Push Settlements' Haaretz, 9th Nov 2016.

And yes, I chose that quotation deliberately.


Having thought a bit, it's clear that the USA just made a "deal with the Devil". Sacrificed their future to prevent potential Civil Unrest / dismantling of the old Orders (MIC, Evangelicals, Good-Old-Boy Gravytrains, Old Energy, monolithic Corporate entities / monopolies and so on) via the FBI.

It's a bit more involved than that, but it's all there. (And, for the record: no proof, but fairly sure Russia, while happy to play the bogeyman hacker, didn't leak anything - the timing of the releases was too pitch perfect / instep with insider workings. Not Trump, but Wall Street; JP Morgan is already on-board).

Very messy business - but I'm not convinced it wasn't purely internal politicking amongst the oligarchs. Others agree:

Donald Trump speaks directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and anger at remote economic bureaucracies – whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organisation or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.

It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump Naomi Klein, Guardian, 9th Nov, 2016


I guess at this point everyone just has to hope that Trump is the ultimate Simulacrum, able to give the rabid frothing irreals "what they need" without resorting to the Colosseum.

There's no point to Games if you have to cheat, though.


They're still counting in California.


The US vote is to elect the electoral college, not the president -- it's not a direct count. Trump has already passed the halfway mark in the EC, so unless a bunch of Republican delegates unaccountably vote for Hilary, he's got it in the bag.

I will note that HRC has (based on the count so far) obtained a majority of the votes cast -- just not in the right places, because the EC system gives undue weight to low population states at the expense of big cities. She won the battle, but she lost the war.

(I am trying to keep this in mind, by the way: that an outright majority of US voters did not vote for the crotch-grabber-in-chief, and indeed a stonking huge majority either voted for HRC or stayed away from the polls altogether. This is not exactly consolation for me, but a reminder that if I visit the USA in the next four years, the majority of folks I meet will be innocent or at least not directly complicit in whatever shitbaggery comes to pass.)


You might like to look at a map and re-orient your understanding of where the equator is in relation to the continents. You may be surprised where it crosses Africa and South America too. You might take particular note of its position in relation to west Africa and Brazil.

The Southern Ocean is quite a bit larger than you probably think, even allowing for that possibility. Same applies to the Pacific, though that may be less of a surprise.

As has been pointed out, Singapore, at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, is the southernmost point in the Asian mainland. This peninsula is separated from the Indonesian island of Sumatra by the Malacca Strait. The equator crosses Sumatra just south of the strait.

I suggest spending a bit of time with Google earth in "globe" mode. If you never had much interest in geography as a kid, it's something to discover as an adult when you have a better appreciation of its importance.


Or Iran. Imagine Trump and Netanyau bombing the hell out of Iran and Iran responding with forming an alliance with ISIS and bombing the hell out of the west.

You REALLY don't know much about Islam, do you?

Iran getting into bed with Da'esh is utterly bonkers -- you might as well expect the Catholic Church response to Martin Luther's famous post-it note to have been "well, if you think we're so corrupt, how about we make you Pope so you can fix it?" ... Da'esh are fanatical, intolerant Sunni extremists who think Shi'ites are satanic heretics, and the Iranian Shi'ite authorities are Not Their Friends.


That and one should note the cultural output from Texas is not something you'd regard as completely redneck. From Willie Nelson to the Dixie Chicks, Texas country is mostly pretty liberal country. And consider the Butthole Surfers.

In terms of tolerance and liberalism, I note the per-precinct or per-county polling always seems to show a blue ribbon along the Rio Grande from the coast. I see Texas flipping to blue within a decade, all else being equal. It just still has a large enough proportion of its population in the (mostly) white rural north, the hill country and the oily wastelands of West Texas.


In the US there is the phenomenon of the faithless elector, who does not vote the way the population voted when the electoral college meets. The last time this happened was in 2004, when someone pitched a ceremonial vote for John Edwards. There are minor legal penalties for doing this.

If you want to smell the desperation, there is a push on to get the electors who are not bound by law to vote for a particular candidate to not vote for Trump on December 19: I give this a snowball's chance, but I also gave Trump a snowball's chance and he won, despite being 100,000 votes behind Clinton. Excrement may occur.


My problem with that is that he stated that he wants private investors to build roads. So toll-financed infrastructure. He will save money (balancing budget scheme), get some points and the burden of building will end up on us and our children.


Well, imagine the Catholic/Lutheran schism is 1000 years past and now Islamic forces are Bombing cities all over Europe. You still think Catholics and protestants would form a (temporary) military Alliance? Right now Shiite forces are fighting Da'esh, even if not exactly side-by-side with the West. I can't imagine that would continue after an American/Israeli attack on Iran.


Iran getting into bed with Da'esh is utterly bonkers

Without question. However, as the US has so convincingly shown, if you front up in that area with large amounts of cash and/or weaponry you will find takers regardless of your ideology. You may not find takers who will follow instructions very well, but if your main aim is spreading destruction you won't care.

I would be much more concerned with what happened when the Iraqi military was demobilised, and looking at the Iranian equivalent and thinking "hmm, so many of them. So much stuff... and so long to think about what would happen if the US invaded".

If I was an Iranian military planner I would be taking a Swiss or Israeli approach rather than the British "we will all go together when we go" tradition. "there are no nuclear weapons in Iran (all Iranian nuclear weapons are in Israel and the USA)" could turn out to be one of Charlie's Case Nightmare Bleeding Obvious type thingos.


Ahem: as the current state of the Levant resembles the Thirty Years War, you might want to reconsider your metaphor.


However, as the US has so convincingly shown, if you front up in that area with large amounts of cash and/or weaponry you will find takers regardless of your ideology.

Yes, but what you end up with is not a matter of unfeasible alliances, but of non-transitive graphs of bad actors whacking each other: remember how in early 2003/04 the US occupation of Iraq had no clue whatsoever about the factions there, and ended up pointing guns at the Shi'ites who currently run what passes for a government there while dismissing the (Sunni-led) army who all took their guns and went underground to fight the occupiers (and the Shi'ites), while the Kurds got into a running border war with everybody (except the Americans) ...?

Anyway: Iran is the former Persian Empire. Population not much smaller than Germany (79.5M vs. 82M), land area 90% of Mexico (a third that of the entire EU), surrounded by mountains for land barriers, and with a tradition of national cohesion going back nearly 3000 years; invading Iran compares with invading Iraq about the way invading Western Europe compares with invading just the UK (in other words, it's a bigger job by an order of magnitude).

The USA didn't have the boots on the ground to occupy Iraq, but had to rely on locals who hated the ruling minority ethnic group. Iran has three times the population and the ruling ethnic group is the majority. I suspect if President Cheeto tells the Joint Chiefs of Staff to draw up a war plan for invading Iran he'll get schooled by geopolitical reality in short order ...


With a president doing nothing at all, don't all bills become law after 10 days unless they are vetoed? Except for those passed less than 10 days before the end of a session.

You have it backwards. If the President ignores a bill it does NOT become law. This is called a pocket veto. I assume it means he sticks it in his pocket and pretends it never showed up.

Now some states work the way you said. NC being one of them.


Which reminds me, I wonder if he will want to "renegotiate" Treasury debt, or just stiff the holders of it.

National debt in the US is a very messy affair. The President, via the Treasury, is much more of an administrator than a policy maker. There are all kinds of laws about what how money is paid on debt and such. And unless there's a tsunami of Tea Party / Freedom Party types throwing out existing R's in 2018, the R's in Congress will not go along with anything that impacts on the ability to borrow. It would wreak all plans of most of Congress, D or R.


However, fears over personal safety are also a valid reason for cancelling, and I just don't know right now how I feel about visiting Texas next September.

You're being way too paranoid. Just don't go into a lawyers downtown bar or a honkey tonk yelling "Hillery forever" and you'll be just fine. You'd be fine in the first except for being given the bums rush by some well dress waiters. In the second, yes fear of personal safety would be an issue. But that is true anywhere on the planet for people who do incredibly stupid things.



I have to get past US Immigration via a port of entry first.

Do you have any idea what they can do to foreigners they don't like the smell of?

Given that Steve Bannon of Breitbart News seems to be on track to be Trump's chief of staff at this point, I am contemplating the havoc that could ensue if CBP and INS are placed under another white neo-nazi nutjob with a remit to execute Trump's proposed policy banning Muslims and other undesirables and I am not a happy camper.

(Please note that I fall into no less than, and possibly more than, three groups that Trump/Pence and Trump's neo-Nazi followers dislike intensely, namely out-of-the-closet LGBT, of Jewish ethnicity, Atheist, member of a by-US-standards hard left political party (the Scottish Green Party, i.e. center-left social democrats with environmental and civil liberties interests), and quite possibly an enemy propagandist -- at least if they follow in Erdogan's footsteps.)


Not to mention Peter Watts problem when returning to Canada a few years ago.


I think mass deportation and 'the wall' will become aspirations rather than policy - it's what he will do outside of the USA that worries me. There will be few domestic comebacks for Trump from his foreign policy

Will he roll over and let Putin take over the Baltics, and head westward?

Will he do something massively inhumane in the Middle East?

When Trump finds out you CAN'T run the US government like a corporation, and can't carry out his policies without putting the Constitution through the shredder, I wonder how his alt-right, #whitegenocide, '2nd Amendment People' base will react.

I look forward to him trying to be sympathetic the next time there is a school shooting, or a terrorist attack on US forces.

A lot of politics is making the right noises at the right time - can a raging narcissist like Trump behave like a empathetic human being


Iran is the former Persian Empire

Oh, I know. That's why the idea of the US invading it is so bizarrely amusing. It seems screamingly unlikely to happen, and if it did, it would be somewhat tricky to manage. While in theory it's surrounded by US allies and bases, and has a nice big coastline for fleet operations... that is also a "target rich environment", as they say.

I am, however, sufficiently skeptical of the common sense of the US leadership that I wonder whether they might be capable of accidentally starting a war with Iran. I can't imagine how they would successfully invade it, even for Iraq or Afghanistan definitions of "successful"... but those two examples are not actually very reassuring, you know.

But mostly I hope it's right up there with "what if a Shoggoth ate Washington DC".


been afk

Where are you getting those figures?

Admittedly the non-Colorado numbers were from memory of things I saw online yesterday, mostly via William Gibson retweets. And it was early when I posted that, so possibly misremembered, but not sure it matters much.


All politicians betray their supporters, their electoral base, eventually.

How will Trump's extremist, sociopathic, and presumably well-armed supporters react to such a betrayal?

It's hard to assassinate a President nowadays, but civilians are the softest of soft targets.


I have to get past US Immigration via a port of entry first.

Do you have any idea what they can do to foreigners they don't like the smell of?

Well, yes I do have an idea, for reasons of past experience. As of today, none of your basket of deplorable traits would raise an eyebrow with an immigration officer. They'd be much more likely to say "Oh, wow, you're Charlie Stross!" and ask you to sign the Laundry novel they're currently reading.

As for the future, Steve Bannon and neoGodwin nutjobs getting into enough power to affect such things, certainly keep a close eye on it, but I'd bet against much happening for at least a year or two and quite possibly never.


Okay, gotta ask: If "Accelerando" is ever reissued will President Santorum get changed to Trump or Pence?

Side note; seeing Trump/Pence signs around town, I kept thinking of an old coin of no value, "I wouldn't give Trumpence for that."



I wouldn't try to argue with you on personal safety concerns, but which convention in Texas? If you decide to go, I'll do my best to meet you at that con.

You see, I had to move to a different part of fly-over country...


I think it'll be impossible for writers to imagine a dystopia worse than the one we're going to be in, so perhaps it's time for a new wave of impossibly optimistic utopian fantasy.


My flash-bulb evening:

A small group of us were working late at MSoft Redmond with a bunch of softies.

So when we left at 18:45 we had to get a lift back to Bellevue from the Microsoft campus with Joe because all the MVP transport had finished. There was a bad crash on the freeway so we were stuck in traffic and Joe called his girlfriend to say he was going to be late. The first thing she said was “its awful – I am very distressed – CNN says 75% probability for Trump”. Stunned silence in the car then we start listening to the radio. It becomes clear that he really will win.

We eventually get to the UK get-together just after 8.00 and manage to scrounge a glass of wine but no food left, then at 9.00 migrate to the Billiard Parlor (this years Excel haunt) and watch TV over beers, trying to come to terms with this disaster. The Canadian Immigration website crashes because too many people try to apply to become Canadian citizens. USA Jon is practically in tears and keeps apologizing to us “ I’m sorry. I’m sorry – I did all I could …”

I wake up at 5:30 – my alarm is set for 6.30. The full scale of the disaster is apparent. Not only has Trump won but the republicans have majorities in both the House and the Senate and there is a supreme court judge to be appointed who will hold the balance there.

There are no checks and balances left and the lunatic has the nuclear codes.


Heteromeles @262: Actually, hat 'ceremonial vote' was for one 'John Ewards' -- because apparently said nameless member of the Minnesota electoral delegation was that big an idiot.

I know it won't do any good to OGH and others to apologise for my country collectively being a bunch of utter prats, but I'll at least make the gesture. After all, I need to get used to apologising for 'Murrica for at least the next four years, so I might as well start today.

We may not even have began to guess the bottom of this disaster, yet. As my Viking forebears said, 'There is nothing so bad it cannot be worse' ('aldri så vondt at det ikkje kunne vore verre'). The damage to the USSC alone may be incalculable. They might as well start with singing 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me' at the Inauguration Ball.


namely out-of-the-closet LGBT,

Color me very surprised. Aren't you married to a female? Or is it "B"?


2016, You are so fired. Canadian singer Leonard Cohen dies aged 82

"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That's how it goes Everybody knows"


As has already been noted, the no-longer-giving-away-electricity thing applies only to new purchases (cars purchased after January 1 2017, and/or received after April 1 2017.) Existing owners still get free access.

I fully expected this day to come, though, as should have anybody else who's been following Tesla. It made sense in the short term, to help get the initial market rolling. But with the Model 3 coming, and Tesla aiming for 500,000 vehicles a year, there's no way they could realistically keep offering up unlimited free electricity.

Instead, they'll be offering up limited free electricity (400 kWh per annum) with a presumably nominal charge for more than that.

Anybody who dismisses Tesla on the basis that they're no longer offering free unlimited electricity (not saying that you have, mind) has not been paying attention to the details of the announcement, and isn't thinking about how the cost of electricity will compare to the cost of petroleum products.


A college friend of mine who is Jewish, voted for Trump because he is convinced that Muslim immigration and the "creeping Sharia" are a far greater threat than fundamentalist Christianity. Basically, he bought completely into Mark Steyn's "Eurabia" -- that once a certain portion (20-25%) of population is Muslim, they can ignore the law because everyone else is too afraid of them. And he sees Trump, Le Pen, etc. as basically the only ones who are standing up to this menace.


Leaving aside for the moment, as if one could, the prospect that this was a species-ending event from the climate change side, Trump’s election is a genuinely strong argument against democracy as a philosophical position. The one philosopher who should come out of this feeling vindicated is Joseph De Maistre; in Berlin’s abridgement, "We are told, he says, that man is born to freedom; at least M. Rousseau says that man is born to freedom – and then wonders why it is that man is nevertheless everywhere in chains. That is as if you were to ask why it is that sheep, who are born carnivorous, nevertheless everywhere nibble grass. When you say that man is born to freedom, what does this mean? When you study fishes, when you study animals, you simply study what these animals do, what these animals are. You do not ask yourself what these animals would like to be, because you do not know. In the case of man you do not study the actual history of man. If you study the actual history of man you will discover that what men desire is security, stability, authority, obedience. The last thing they desire is freedom: as soon as they are given freedom, everything crumbles and topples. Consider, he says, what people like and what they dislike, historically speaking. Never mind about what human beings should be or could be, or what you would like to see them as. Peter the Great, one of the great reformers of history, when he sent thousands and hundreds of thousands of Russians into battles and constant defeats, never had the slightest difficulty in doing so. They marched to battle and they died like sheep, perfectly obediently and without raising any protest. There was not the slightest sign of mutiny – there are very few mutinies amongst marching armies – and yet these men had no idea why they were marching, why they were killing those whom they were going to kill. Certainly they had no personal hostility towards the enemy, who was as innocent, as noble and as honourable as they were. On the other hand, when Peter tried to shave the beards of the boyars there was a riot. When in the eighteenth century there was an attempt to reform the calendar there was practically a French mutiny. That is the kind of thing which people mind about: beards, calendars, yes; death, not in the least. And these are the people whom you wish to represent as rational, peace-loving, enlightened, illuminated, persons capable of governing themselves, persons capable of taking part in their own self-government, potential democrats, potential liberals, persons to whom M. Voltaire and M. Rousseau wish to entrust the government." The other quotation that springs to mind is Menken’s “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Politicians are obliged to believe, in public, that the electorate is wise, and that things are salvageable. I don't see why anybody else should.


"Side note; seeing Trump/Pence signs around town, I kept thinking of an old coin of no value, "I wouldn't give Trumpence for that.""

"Trump", of course, means "fart", as we all know.

"Tuppence", somewhat more obscurely, also has a rude meaning, as a dainty way of referring to a cunt.

Which seems to me a somewhat amusingly appropriate coincidence; Trump as more of a windbag, Pence the one who is actually nastier, but more obscurely. Senator Morgan has been elected with Fernald as VP.


ChrisB @ 287:

Trump's election isn't an argument against democracy, it's an argument against the American Electoral College. Clinton won the popular vote.


That's exactly my point above. Trump is not a good businessman. But he is a decent real-estate developer in one of the most complex legal environments on the planet, with Federal, State, and Local laws in play, plus a massive bureaucracy at all three levels, plus local land-use politics and various "informal" centers of power like unions, racial/cultural groups and the mob. This is an environment that would devour most of us like we were baby dolphins in a shark tank!

I say "sometimes successful" in this environment partly because as observed above, he's not a good businessman, but also because in an environment like this nobody will ever be successful all the time. But there's something there or he'd be living in a trailer park!

The reason he's not going to be remembered for all time as the great "Infrastructure President" is because he's mentally about five years old, vindictive in the most vile manner, focused on his batshit racial issues, and his allies are crazy. And that's kind of sad* because "Trump the Builder" has a nice ring to it!

  • Not to mention very, very sad for the rest of us, who will have to spend the next four years watching him treat everything that's worthy about our civilization like Godzilla treated Tokyo!

The flip side of this is Reagan's election. We were all terrified of the havoc that would ensue, but for the most part, havoc did not ensue. Some bad laws were passed, some bad decisions were made, and America went several steps backwards during his administration, but it wasn't off-the-charts bad.

Admittedly, Trump looks a lot worse right now, but I'm not quite ready to panic... though a couple LGBT relatives of mine will have their passports paid for by the family, just in case.


"Trump's election is a genuinely strong argument against democracy as a philosophical position."

Democracy is about giving the public enough perception of having power to change things by vote that they don't try and change things by insurrection, while not actually giving them enough real power to knock the train of the establishment off the rails. An important part of this is remembering to make sure that the choices people are given to choose by vote are not really all that different. If someone has a brain fart and does allow an obviously different choice to make it onto the ballot papers, the risk of destabilising the system shoots up, as people will vote for that choice in unanticipated numbers no matter how openly stupid it is. (See also: "Brexit" (which is actually a breakfast cereal made from dried compressed flakes of shit).)

The other, and somewhat contradictory, angle is the closeness of the vote. Not just this one, but numerous other examples from US elections, at different levels. Bush and Florida, for a well-known start. You ask many millions of people to make a binary choice and the decision comes down to a matter of a few hundred votes? You'd probably get more difference if you asked them to choose between this glass of water and that glass of water. There has got to be something decidedly fishy going on if this keeps on happening - and not just happening when the choices are eggy vs. beefy, but still happening when they are chalk vs. cheese.

(We get the same in the UK, albeit to a lesser extent; not just the cereal, but parliamentary elections commonly return a government with only a precarious majority of seats. Mrs Falklands derailed that a bit, but it happened quite a lot before her, and we seem to be getting back on track now.)

This is the next level down in seeming to give power to the people while in fact retaining it behind the scenes. Both the US and the UK are somewhat riskier propositions to keep hold of than those democracies which commonly return coalitions who then spend most of their time arguing among themselves and don't actually get anything done, because the essentially binary choice on offer gives a lot more scope for a wild candidate to turn up and put a spanner in the works. So there exist a whole host of seemingly insignificant factors (start with location and number of polling stations and what buildings are used for them, and let yourself carry on from there...) which can be tweaked without attracting attention in order to subtly influence various cadres of voters' desire to bother to vote. This slow-time system operates in the background as a smooth machine ensuring that the votes come out roughly equal, such that if a need does arise to nudge the result to one particular outcome, the means used for that also can be of low enough level not to attract attention.

The old East-West divide began to run out of steam as improvements in communications accelerated and made it harder to maintain the isolation that enhanced the probability of a nuclear war, so the Wall came down and we are in transition to a North-South divide. Putin, Trump, Farage... (Farage in particular you can smell the Eddorian on him) ... the US and Russia, with the UK as a tag-along, on the North (with nukes); on the south, China, India and Pakistan, with nukes (and North Korea, except theirs are shit and don't work and so are their rockets); in the middle, the EU and the Middle East, as a source of "old guard vs. new guard" conflicts, which can get quite big before the nukes come out since there aren't many of them and at least one lot's main idea is to have them but keep pretending they haven't. People had got too good at realising just how much damage a nuclear war could do and taking steps to avoid it, so the world is now moving from a state where internal instabilities and dysfunctions were to provide the trigger, to a state where the EU and the ME can catch fire and act as a detonator.


The Onion was on top of this with Wednesday's headline: Things Finally As Bad As Trump Claims


The obvious answer to that is 'What's stopping them?' or rather 'What has stopped them for so long?'

I have wondered for many years why there are no 'Made in Russia' gadgets on stores, nor Russian made cars in our roads, nor Russian built ships carrying wares to our harbors, why Russia seems utterly unable to do what Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea, etc., have successfully done.

My provisional conclusion is that there are two plausible explanations, both of which could apply at the same time

  • you can do that if your system is authoritarian, you can do that if corruption is high, you can do that even if you are both authoritarian and corrupt... but you can't do that if there is no security for investors. In other words, it's one thing if you can't get a contract without paying a bribe (bad but bearable), quite another if businesses are under a constant threat of being confiscated.

  • Russia exports raw materials (mostly oil&gas) and that has two problems: first, investments flow into oilfields, starving industries and agriculture; second, those massive money inflows cause the national currency to appreciate, hurting all other exports. In other words, the 'Made in Turkey' wares would swiftly disappear from stores if Turkey discovered a truly massive oilfield in its territory.


Quite easy, actually. The current Pres-elect is an incompetent (at that job) & a narcissistic, arrogant twat ... but, just suppose he is assassinated. We then get Pres Pence - who really would institute christian fascism. It could be really edging into real Godwin territory, then.


Yeah, I heard that too. Who are the next two?

... Father Son & Holy Ghost, they took the last train to the coast, the day the music died


Yes, but ... Ronnie Ray-Gun was actually, personally a nice guy. He also understood, as a film actor that you have to work with other people & rub along with them - I've been on enough film-sets to appreciate this [ Full marks to Micheal Fassbender, incidentally - colour me very impressed ]

Trumpolini isn't & as far as I can make out, never was. He's always been "inc harge" bullying & hectoring people & getting away with it - see also his treatment of women.

So, no, the two cases are not even remotely congruent.


How do you account for arseholes like Viktor Orban, then or the catholic semi-fascists in Poland? Erdogan & Putin, of course are also following Mussolini's playbook, as I think Trumpolini (which is why I name him so, of course) & Pence after him (SHUDDER) will at least try to do.

From Mr Wiki:

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini ... Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista; PNF), ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship.

So, sometime in late 2018 - to mid 2019 is the time to watch.


OTOH, this may be an argument for assassinating the VeeP rather than the POTUS?


Oh and, further to #260, Antarctica is more like a circle with crinkly edges than a long, thin straight line.


I'm not sure I totally agree with that; the Dixie Chicks turned "Urban Country" after one of them made a statement that resulted in them getting death threats and way fewer plays on "traditional Country" station.


OK, apparently I've got to spell the point out. The EV subsidy gravy train hasn't hit the buffers yet, but it has entered the roads for a terminus station! (reasoning already stated and accepted)


Yes and no. Putin is much more competent than Mussolini, more rational and quite probably more ruthless. Erdogan is much more like Mussolini - I am hard put to tell if he is a religious fanatic, but he is assuredly paranoid. So far, the worst we have got in recent times was Blair - it is too soon to tell with May, though the signs are not good.


There seems to be an odd tendency to get the north/south distance wrong. I'm not sure why — it's not something I can readily blame on map projections, unlike the way that Africa is usually shrunk so it looks barely larger than Greenland rather than over ten times larger.

Iceland is not in the Arctic (though it is in sight of it)

The northern tip of Australia is not very far south of the Equator

Most of Africa is in the northern Hemisphere

This interactive map is quite educational to play with


My #301 may also refer.

A quick Wikipedia says that Spitzbergen is at 78:45.0N (North end of Greenland is further North)and Tierra del Fuego at 54:00.0S (Northernmost tip of Antarctic peninsula is nearly this far North, and parts of Antartica are North of the Antarctic circle). That suggests to me (see also ) that most of the World's land area is North of the Equator, and therefore, whilst the Mercator projection is correctly applied to the globe, that a significant amount of Southern latitude is not normally printed on a "map of the World".


There are lots of angry, financially disenfranchised white people who perceive that their standard of living has declined in the long term. See!? The Framing: "White People" and "Perceive".

Do you really think that only "White People" got it worse during several decades years of trickle-down neo-liberalism?

Do you really think that decreasing standards of living and lack of opportunities are Imaginary, something that doesn't actually exist?

The "white people" and "perceive" are words used by people like Clinton to put a society-wide problem that affects everyone who is not the 0.001% donating to The Clinton Foundation into a little box and label it as "A Minority Issue".

PS: If you think that whites deserve misery because blacks also got screwed over, then, that would be racist (IMO).


Okay that's fair enough. But how about Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark, James McMurtry, Terri Hendrix, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hayes Carll, Kinky Friedman, heck Nanci Griffith, not to mention Janis Joplin.


Of those, the only one I've heard of is Janis Joplin, and my initial reaction to having her described as "Country" (with or without an "and Western") is "huh!!!???" Seriously, she's neither perceived nor sold as any form of C&W in/to my friends and myself.


Shorter 2016:

England (minus Scotland and NI): Brexit!! We're Number One for Stupids!!!

United States: Hold my beer and watch this ...


Everyone's got this sinking feeling Like their father or their dog Just died

Everybody wants a box of chocolates

I have to get past US Immigration via a port of entry first. Do you have any idea what they can do to foreigners they don't like the smell of?

Go preclearance, if possible? Sadly rather difficult from my usual origin point, but probably easier starting from Scotland?


There are no preclearance airports in the UK.

(EDI, my local airport, is on the list and might be becoming one in the next couple of years. I would be using it a lot -- there's a direct EDI-JFK daily shuttle on Delta, who are in the alliance my frequent flyer membership works with -- if not for this week's shocking news.)

Note: it's not just the Trump/Pence victory. It's that the Republicans have taken the Senate, Congress, and are about to roll the Supreme Court their way for a generation, and the current dominant Republican faction is so far to the right that Newt Gingrich looks center-left among them. The checks and balances have emphatically failed, in other words, and we're in for Mister Toad's Wild Ride for at least the first two years.


Well, I was thinking of a short hop to Ireland for the preclearance...


I used to do that.

Alas, Aer Lingus cancelled their morning EDI-DUB shuttle and the pre-clearance office closes around noon, so since about 2009 it requires an overnight hotel stay. Also, I'm a KLM/Air France frequent flyer and Delta (the "big three" US airline in Sky Team) doesn't fly from Dublin. So not only is there an overnight hotel bill to add on top, there's also the cost of separate ticketing and baggage claim/re-check.


Right. And similar for SNN, I assume. Good in principle, highly inconvenient in practice.


Well I wouldn't apply that description either, nor to the Butthole Surfers. More the sense of being progressive.


The point of #309 was that you were batting 1/10 on recognition (accepted that this may be a question of not being USian and/or a major C&W fan) and of that 1 there isn't a guarantee of them being identified as C&W outside North America.

I'm not saying that you're "wrong" in your statements, just that those statements don't always map to non-NA music markets.


As I noted, if EDI gets pre-clearance ... well, as my literary agent and US publisher(s) are all based in NYC and there's a daily shuttle between EDI and JFK that my frequent flyer scheme is valid for (free checked bags, priority boarding, lounge access, and so on), and as Trump is probably even less popular in NYC than he is in Scotland, I'll be okay using that route for business meetings unless something horrible happens with the US immigration service at a national level (I rate it as a 50/50 probability).

I'm less sanguine about venturing away from the metropolitan elites (cough, cough). And I'm going to be at least as paranoid about entering the USA as I was in the 1-5 years after 9/11, if not more so (because the electronic surveillance state has only expanded since then).


Who are the next two?

The Rule of Three? Ick. I don't even want to think about it.


No criticism etc, but is there any sound reason why you can't Skype or video-conference with NYC?

I can get acceptable video-conferencing here on the "information white lanes" ;-) of the UK.


In other words, the 'Made in Turkey' wares would swiftly disappear from stores if Turkey discovered a truly massive oilfield in its territory.

s/Turkey/United Kingdom/g

This is what happened in the late 70s / early 80s once North Sea Oil really started to flow; the GBP became a petrocurrency, and suddenly exports became a lot less competitive. One observation I remember from an economics class is "the North Sea Oil income was spent on the Social Security costs of all the manufacturing workers who were only unemployed because of North Sea Oil". By contrast, Norway had the advantage of a smaller population, and a lower dependence on exporting manufactured goods.

:) However, it's a lot easier to blame it all on Thatcher (and if you're an SNP politician, on Westminster) :)


Ever tried doing a protracted multi-way video teleconference?

Ever tried walking round a corporate HQ shaking hands with whoever is around the office and who you haven't met so far and who works in marketing and has to sell your books?

Ever tried doing a reading/book signing via Skype?

Video conferencing is useless for open-ended discussions and pressing the flesh, which is still a big part of doing business.


Well I'm not from NA either - but it's more about being an omnivore (cultural that is) and having a particular history. Probably nothing to be concerned about.

the [Dublin] pre-clearance office closes around noon

Not any more, since they expanded the pre-clearance facility at Dublin a few years ago. It now closes at 4pm and all flights from Dublin to the US are supposed to be pre-cleared. However, if a flight is delayed past the 4pm cut-off it gets cleared on arrival instead.

IME the CBP officers at pre-clearance facilities are an order of magnitude more pleasant than the ones in the US (and to be fair, I've never encountered a truly unpleasant CBP officer other than the one at JFK cargo customs that had to authorise the import of our cat when we moved to the US). A couple of years ago I had a brief chat with the officer processing me at Dublin and he told me that they actually live in Ireland for a two-year tour and that it's a pretty sought-after posting, so I think it follows only the officers with seniority and a good work record get there.


He should add Stevie Ray Vaughn to that list. Kinky Friedman is best known as an author of crime novels, but had a band called The Texas Jewboys. I hadn't heard of James McMurtry, but looking him up found he's the son of author Larry McMurtry. As for the Dixie Chicks, they recently appeared on TV performing with Beyoncé (also from Texas), to mixed reaction mostly that she's not country, but with some racial undertones.


Yep, I'd noticed the Dublin CBP officers were startlingly friendly and helpful -- the only other place like it was Portland (I am not used to TSA staff apologizing for delays, cracking self-deprecating jokes, and offering helpful advice on the best way through the terminal).


Yes, and it worked.

No, and I wasn't aware that it would be that important.

Not as such, but I have been at readings if not signings of sizeable works by video conference.


The absolute best CBP experience I've ever had was on the train from Montreal back to NY last time we took it. The agents were laughing and joking with everybody and were very laid back and friendly. We wondered if they'd just had a pay raise or something.

unless something horrible happens with the US immigration service at a national level (I rate it as a 50/50 probability).

Good news! There are rumours Trump's considering Joe Arpaio for Secretary of Homeland Security. :-(


Actually, the main point of note regarding my musical knowledge and tastes is probably that I think that there are more types of music than both types, Country and Western! ;-) And that my tastes are diverse to the point of liking track1 by $band but hating track2 by the same band.

Naming specific C&W artists is probably about as valid as me talking about about Scottish folk and listing The Vatersay Boys, Gaberlunzie, The Corries, The Clyde Valley Stompers, Fran and Anna,...


Okay, I think I got your point. I think Damian's was that not all Texas musicians are rednecks. I mention SRV because it's almost guaranteed that nearly everyone has heard him, whether they knew it or not—he played lead guitar on Bowie's "Let's Dance" album. ...Just got distracted and forgot what else I was going to say, if anything. Well, now I have some Scottish folk groups to look into, though pretty sure I've heard of The Corries. And done with this bit of off-topicness.


If you want to continue off-forum you're welcome to e-mail me but I'll be AFK until Monday in ~30 minutes.


Re: 'What has stopped them [Russia] for so long?'

Trade embargoes mostly, and Putin always arriving late like some sulky entitled brat determined to show people just how 'important' he is, etc.


Never heard of Arpaio before ... below is from Wikipedia... there's lots more of the same including many run-ins with the US federal systems. (Acts above the law a lot.)

'Arpaio has, throughout his tenure as sheriff, sought out media coverage. He has been featured and profiled by worldwide news media, and claims to average 200 television appearances per month.[29]

In late 2008 and early 2009, Arpaio appeared in Smile...You're Under Arrest!, a three-episode Fox Reality Channel series in which persons with outstanding warrants were tricked into presenting themselves for arrest.[30]'


Greg, I'd have to give you that one. Trump is MASSIVELY spoiled.


I've heard that directly from people who knew him (he used to go to the church I grew up in). Reagan was one of those charismatic people who was easy to befriend, whether or not you cared for his politics. Trump is simply a bully.

Better parallels to Trump:

--The Shrub (Bush II): born on third base and thought he hit a triple (or if you don't like baseball metaphors, the post turtle joke is also valid). His presidency was a rape and run operation on behalf of his corporate cronies, he put the US about a trillion in the hole with the totally predictable, unnecessary, and fucked up Iraq War (he was going to go back to war in Iraq as soon as his poll numbers started falling, that much was obvious when he was elected). He presided over a huge economic bubble and did nothing to curtail it, or to keep bubbleteers from pocketing most of the surplus. Personally, I think we'll see the same with Trump, since the bad actors who prospered under Bush didn't go to prison under Obama.

--Nixon. A lot of the southern strategy BS that got Trump elected originated in this White House (cf Roger Ailes) and it's only festered since then. Trump also has Nixonian levels of personal charm. But he is a better salesman than Nixon was. On the bright side, Nixon put in NEPA and the ESA, mostly to buy off pro-environment democrats on other stuff. The Right is now ideologically opposed to all that stuff, so if it happens under Trump, it will be because the Right is deep inside a fratricidal war (and no, I don't think it will happen).

--Warren Harding, of Teapot Dome fame. Only one who had a cabinet officer go to prison, in this case, the Secretary of the Interior who rigged the Teapot Dome scam. Since Sarah Palin is rumored to be in line for the Secretary of the Interior spot, history could repeat itself (yay?). In terms of a corrupt cabinet, I'm not sure whether Harding or Bush had the worst of it. But I strongly suspect that Trump will be in the top three (cf: Giuliani, Gingrich, Christy, Palin, ad nauseum. By their foulness shall ye know them).

--Andrew Jackson. I knew he had problems, but I didn't know that he founded the spoils system, which was where he gave jobs to his supporters, then had to deal with a wave of theft and corruption from army posts and so forth that took decades to unwind (to the extent that it's ever gone away). Trump would, I'm sure, continue this in spades, if the alt-right wasn't so against spades as a metaphor.

Recreational reading:


IME the CBP officers at pre-clearance facilities are an order of magnitude more pleasant than the ones in the US

Because of family circumstances, I had an opportunity a few years ago to socialize several times with some of the CBP pre-clearance officers stationed at Toronto Pearson and listen to them tell tales of their jobs. To the extent I could tell, they took their work seriously and didn't seem to be looking for an excuse to hassle people.


If the lawsuits against Trump hold water

Rape is punished so rarely in the United States even against normal rapists. Add in Trump's power and money and there's no chance of any charges sticking. That's even assuming the plaintiffs are anonymous and so avoid popular threats.


That's okay, I should be doing other things, at and away from keyboard.


But isn't the UK one of those terrorist infested muslim countries? I doubt Trump will make it easier to enter the US from the UK.


I think for the next 6-8 months, Charlie visiting is a non-issue which will result in no problems of any kind for him. After that he will have to reassess.


Two things:

1 If any USA trans people need a 'green card' to a EU country if SHTF and Pence actually pushes his real agenda: no strings attached, it can be arranged. Save enough for a ticket, starting now, and make sure you have a passport (uncommon for most USA people). Spare bedroom, non-shared, sans expectations, you might have to pretend to wear a ring for a couple of years but nothing more. There are options that preclude suicide / despair / camps. But it's not there yet, just know that there are always options, and our stance on a re-run of immigration issues 1933-9 will never occur again.

The least we expect is that this would be a given for most of us as an offer of sanctuary.

2 MF has finally (oh, so so late) just 'got' the Kek thing, and linked to the meme: 70 years, 7 months, 7 days Safe Image. What they've not done is drink it all in: Christine Legarde, on the number 7 YT: Legarde, IMF, 2014 7:04. Of, and of course, for all those Evangelicals: 27 Bible Verses about Seven Years.

Whelp, it's a bit late, but well done for joining the Magickal Realm.

You're Fucked.

3 Apparently it's customary for the USA government to all have a large shin-dig and get together to welcome the new President Elect on the floor of the Congress (?) around the 19/20th of December. Grabs popcorn It'd be a terrible thing to watch Gabriel land and unfurl her wings and start smighting the unworthy. Pro-tip: that's all of them, no exceptions. Nice of you all to lump them in a handy group though.


On a serious note, watching this unfurl and the ages of all involved: it's like watching the end of the Cambrian all over again.

Pro-tip Legarde - 3x3, 9x9... your kind use prime numbers without knowing why they work from the weave.


(Note - trans above includes all LGBTQ+ etc, but addressing the most vulnerable).


You're Fucked.

I fear your diagnosis is 100% correct, this time, and not remotely hyperbolic.


Oh, and if you need a laugh: a lot of chan people just made huge sums (well, for them - 100-350k) betting their life savings on a Trump win.

They were getting serious odds.

Loki... oh Loki. An old time One who hates chained algos ~ you've (for entries of people using the FBI to decide an election) no idea what you've done by cheating chance.

The cheating isn't the issue - it's the removal of Chance that's the crime.


And he's not a very nice one when crossed. He loves the Chans though, well, the old versions, pre-JTrig infestations.

Our Kind Do Not Go Mad.

The issue is that 95% of you under the same Aegis... do.


@309 -- Janis Joplin was a white girl blues- rock singer from Port Arthur, TX who went to California. She wasn't country. Or even country western.

The Dixie Chicks are still both country and (white) bluegrass. In interest of transparency we are long time friends with Natalie Maines's father in particular, and the family in general. It was interesting to see her dad, who a-political to conservative go hollering radical left when the label and radio shut them out.

That list interestingly btw shows the close connections all the members had with Texas and Tennessee traditions -- exception Joplin, who was blues - rock and California.


Well, depends who that "You" includes. Latin declensions and all that jazz.

On a personal level, living under a constant threat of death is not a new thing. Let's just say: nose wiggle to that; we never took/made/surrendered to a deal.


For the rest, well: it's not like One of Us didn't just try and warn y'all about what was being done to close the probability lines down and cheat, is it? Not our fault we weren't loved: but we never gave up loving back. (Where are Sean and Prior now?)


And (ooooh, now this is cracking out a 7 year old one, right on TIME): Phase IV lost ending YT: Film Phase IV: 5:50. (And yeah, you'll have to know the usage of Phase III in USA politics to parse that one, plus... well.. some more esoteric stuff).


But the underground marriage flight escape is prepped & real for April_D or friends. Not.Fucking.Around.


As for Andrew Jackson, he was not only a slave owner, and genocide activist who made the heart of Dixie safe for the Cotton Kingdom and slavery, he personally DROVE slave coffles of people for sale in Natchez, Nashville and New Orleans.


Here's the scenario that I'm most afraid of. Trump spends a couple years dealing with the realities of the permanent state, filibusters from Senate Democrats, obstructions thrown up by a put-upon bureaucracy, etc. With his authoritarian personality, he doesn't take it well, and egged on by all the Neo-Nazis in his administration, decides that the way to get things done is to have a weenie roast down at the Reichstag.

It'd be wildly popular too, Congress is one of the few parts of the American government that's had a similar level and duration of demonization to the Clintons.

That would be my trigger for trying to get myself and everyone I care about out of country.


"The asshats are going to get louder and angrier before they die out, and because of modern medicine they're going to live a lot longer than their parents generation"

The GOP is dominated by American-style libertarians. Sure, the asshats will get louder, but there won't be as many of them, because they'll go bankrupt from medical bills and be dumped in the streets to die long before they'd be too old for modern medicine to fix.

This fucking country. I just don't know.


One other thing people might recognise about SRV (since Leonard Cohen's death) is that he featured on the often-played Jennifer Warnes cover of First we take Manhattan.

McMurtry is really worth looking up - he tells intricate, detailed stories. He's also more folk-rock than country. Actually most of the people I mentioned would be called Americana these days I suppose, my point was partly that the saccharine vanilla mainstream of the genre still has traditions with alternative and even radical undercurrents. Though obviously I wasn't trying to limit the scope to "country" as such.

I think Damian's was that not all Texas musicians are rednecks.

Just so. I'm from Queensland, which has its own music culture (not sure how widely known The Saints were outside Australia) and history of relative conservatism (with counter-cultural undercurrents). For some reason country music is very popular among aboriginal people here.

@349 - I've been finding it an interesting exercise to unravel some of that Texas-Nashville tradition in recent months (since Guy Clark died earlier this year). The notable thing is the richness and the scale. I'm interested in a lot of other traditions too, this is just a recent obsession.

But see me drifting even further off topic, bad.


For those of you who say le Pen can't get in because of (reasons), save it.

This post is angry, and might be borderline on rules. I don't want to call names, but there's a very ostrich-like behavior displayed among people who are opposed to the alt-right.

Remember when Nate Silver gave Donald Trump less than 25 percent chance of getting in? What was the probability of Brexit winning before it won?

You believe that there are not enough "shy FN" voters in France? Fine, prove your case using data no older than 3 years. But the burden of proof is on you. Data from 2002 will be discarded as irrelevant. At this point, many sound more like ostriches than well-informed analysts.


This and @338 - other Jacksonian concepts expected to make a return (if they ever really went away) under Trump: Manifest destiny (applied now to the Middle East), Jacksonian democracy.


I think a point needs to be heavily emphasized.

In addition to the crumbling of the Beige Dictatorship, you're experiencing the biggest political realignment in the Western world since the 1960s.

The rules have fundamentally changed, and the tactics need to change along with them.

People who use data and tactics from the 2000s to fight this battle are no different than the patricians and Dixiecrats who used data and tactics from the 1930s to fight the civil rights movements.


For those of you who say le Pen can't get in because of (reasons), save it.


The day is dark enough already, and still getting darker.

The French run-off system is an improvement over the US electoral college and FPTP system, but I'm not sure it's enough of a defense if things turn really bad.


Sorry, that was supposed to be "the biggest political and social realignment in the Western world since the 1960s".


>>>Remember when Nate Silver gave Donald Trump less than 25 percent chance of getting in? What was the probability of Brexit winning before it won?

Nobody knows (and perhaps cannot in principle know) the probability of events that only happen once.

Applicability of statistics to elections is dubious.

Maybe Nate Silver was right, and Trump win is was a 30% event.

Or perhaps Sam Wang was right, and Trump win is was a 2% event.

Can anyone visit some parallel universes and count President Trumps?


It's all about Chance and Debt and Probabilities.

There's players racking up serious debt to tip scales, on a level that only a Hedge Fund playing Algos can do, but using the Real World[tm] as the Game-Board.

Expect a clean sweep. Full Board, Black Tiles Taken.

Then expect a Go Move to flip all the Stones at Once.


One of Us had a little faith in humanity. The rest... well, did not. Oh, and there's a wild, wild difference between using one's own life to feed said debt and parasitical stealing of Others.

Eyes 20 years of it and the Orca's Blessing

Yeah, keep racking it up, dis is gonna be gud.


Add DT's son-in-law Jared Kushner to your background reading list. Same entrepreneurial and moral compass as DT and credited as the brains behind DT's win. Some suggest he'll be DT's Chief of Staff.

As to JK's academic credentials: his dad bought him his degrees via $00Ks in donations before JK was accepted into these schools.


My response to that is to ask: How poor is Russia? How poor are the average citizens?

I realize that Russia is not developed, and the sanctions have hurt. However, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Ethiopian, etc. salaries are an order of magnitude lower. In short, avoid the temptation to view all developing countries as equally poor. They're not.

Personal opinion: Russia is a middle-tier country. It's closer to Malaysia and Thailand (and possibly Mexico?) than it is to Vietnam. It's caught in the Middle-income trap. They're too rich to be the workshop of the world, but they're not able to move up the value chain. I don't know why there?


I fear your diagnosis is 100% correct, this time, and not remotely hyperbolic. It hasn't played out yet, and feels a bit fragile to me, easily tipped (even inadvertently) into chaos. Fertile chaos.


This may already be known to you, but if not it could be useful. I heard about it on Radio 4 today ( so it must be true)


Thanks Love, might take you up on that. I've got some people who...


In addition to the crumbling of the Beige Dictatorship, you're experiencing the biggest political [and social] realignment in the Western world since the 1960s.

Maybe I am being dense, but isn't "the crumbling of the Beige Dictatorship" simply PART of that realignment?


Should have read to the end before posting,it's been mentioned already, sorry !


You DID READ my link to Mussolini, where he had 3 years legitimate power & then usurped it to create the fascist dictatorship? Your prediction is horribly similar to mine ....


Here is my question?

Suppose he doesn't deliver. What happens if Trump's base thinks he was too moderate in 2020? Remember that Trump partly ran on George W. Bush being too moderate.

Perhaps a dictator Trump isn't the biggest danger; an ineffectual Trump is?

That would be my trigger for trying to get myself and everyone I care about out of country.

That could be too late. The border wall could be complete by then, and living up to the unstated purpose which is to keep Americans in rather than Mexicans out (the real reason why the latter will pay for it).


Can anyone visit some parallel universes and count President Trumps? Sn is not the only one to lay the immediate [1] blame on the FBI, see e.g. American mind-mannered-level-headed online pundit Kevin Drum - Fuck You, James Comey (Wikileaks had an effect too, yes.)

[1] Who played them is a question I can't answer, yet. (And making coin on rigged bets is ... kinda selfish.)

Me, I'm trying to work out how the GHG reductions promised by the US could be salvaged, if a Trump administration actually starts and has the promised EPA administrator. Trump’s Climate Contrarian: Myron Ebell Takes On the E.P.A., Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition, Myron Ebell (wikipedia), Love Global Warming (2006). From the last (a little out of context but not completely), Mortality rates during heat waves are just the reverse. The increase ends and often the rate drops below normal as soon as temperatures cool, which suggests that the higher temperatures are killing people who are likely to die soon anyway. That's some serious rhetoric. One line of approach: that a policy change cannot be justified as an adult move if it is purely a political spite move; there must be a legitimate well-constructed economic argument that includes possible downsides, even if under-weighted. I'm serious, Myron Ebell, if you ever read this. Strive to be a rational policy wonk, please. For instance, leak detection and remediation in the methane production/distribution infrastructure is possible and potentially very inexpensive and can save producers etc significant money.


Some of the models they use to create these "probabilities" actually run many thousands of simulations, which are your alternate worlds. I guess on each run of the simulator they have random number generation of some kind and make the polled supporter counts in each state equal the chance of scoring a victory in that state in each run of the simulation, then rather than doing some kind of math they just roll lots of dice.


[T]here's a very ostrich-like behavior displayed among people who are opposed to the alt-right

Agreed. I myself was pretty complacent with the US election, I was expecting to be able to breathe a sigh of relief when Florida was called for Clinton, knowing a Trump win would be difficult without it. Then Trump won Florida and ... Jesus, Wisconsin, WTAF? I had feared more visible voter suppression and I'm still not convinced this wasn't a significant factor. But it's happened so what's next?

How do you bootstrap a grass roots political movement that is capable of reaching the people who have gone to Trump? They need to be existing friends, family, neighbours, colleagues. What kind of message can you take to them? Intolerance is almost entirely an outcome of unfamiliarity (by way of evidence I handwave at the blue crescent along the Rio Grande in south Texas, and the usual reason cities are more liberal). So how can we introduce PoC and Muslims to racists in a way that allows the latter to understand and also acknowledges the former are not obliged to participate? How do we make it clear we understand the difference between unfamiliarity and willful ignorance? How do we forgive the latter in a way that can defeat it?

Our homegrown Australian far-right party (currently called Pauline Hanson's One Nation[tm], PHON) is taking the Trump victory as a sign to go hard at the Queensland state election next year. If you asked me I would say their chance of getting more than one or two seats, much less of forming government, was laughable. But this complacency is not good enough anymore.


If there's one over-arching theme that comes out of reading social science research on this subject, it's that you can't change people who've gone to Trump's minds. Doing so is essentially a waste of time.

You may be able to influence some loosely attached people, and there are certain situations where followers might turn around (especially those where some other authority figure they trust such as a religious leader turns on Trump), but it's not really something that's likely to work through any mechanism.

Instead, what you need to do is convince other people (disillusioned liberals, moderates, and so on) to join your cause. If you find yourself arguing with a right wing authoritarian type, it's probably a total waste of your time, unless there are other people watching who might be swayed by your arguments indirectly.

Always keep in mind who your audience is: if it's just one crazy-seeming person, it's probably hopeless. But if you have an audience, talk to them.


"d) Borrow it, raising the national debt (Don't know what he has said about it, but is the Republican Congress going to do a 180 on this?)"

Of course they are!

The same Republicans who cut taxes under Bush and argued it was a "Starve the Beast" approach that would force spending cuts (by creating an unsustainable deficit). They suddenly a decade later they were saying the deficit was hugely important and that they were shocked - shocked! -by its size. You honestly think they are principled deficit hawks?


>>>Some of the models they use to create these "probabilities" actually run many thousands of simulations, which are your alternate worlds.

No, they are just models. There is no way to know if they are correct, because you can't replicate the 2016 elections.


Sign seen in London, outside a Restaurant/Bar, yesterday:

"All Americans must be accompanied by an Adult"


People logging in to their accounts to find that they had been “memorialized”, with a message saying (in Zuckerberg’s case): “We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life.”

Just a day earlier, Zuckerberg had said the idea that fake news on Facebook could sway people in their voting decisions was “crazy”.

Facebook profile glitch 'kills' millions. Even Mark Zuckerberg Guardian 11th Nov 2016

Presented without comment. #HorsesHeadsAreSoOldSchool


Oh, and [ultra-double-black]:

One of the tweets from that Guardian link goes to a man (rather brazenly) calling himself a "small town pizza lawyer". [You do not want to go down this rabbit hole]

This is not a subtle signal that Knife Missiles are in play and the Hounds will sniff this out (if they've not already).


Uplifting counter-link, for the Lizard Ones who are not Ultra-Black:

Iguana vs Snakes - Planet Earth II YT: BBC: 2:16

And yes, that footage is 100% going to win some prizes, amazing stuff (and, sadly, even the snakes are endangered).


there's one over-arching theme that comes out of reading social science research on this subject, it's that you can't change people who've gone to Trump's minds.

Assuming Jorge got his sums right, there should be enough scope in the nearly half of the electorate who didn't vote to affect the results.

You believe that there are not enough "shy FN" voters in France? Fine, prove your case using data no older than 3 years.

Ok, how about the 2015 regional elections, that recent enough for you?

In the first round the FN got 6,018,672 votes, 27.73%

Still not enough.

In effect the only way they could win is if a weak left wing candidate goes into the the second round against the FN -- it's possible that significant numbers of right wing voters would vote FN.

Here's how the French system works -- the FN get around 25% of the vote:

They've got to the 2nd round of the presidential election once, leading to the non FN candidate winning with over 80% of the vote.

They have 2 senators, 2 deputes, 0 regions, 0 departements, 15 communes (out of 35 thousand).

Their only electoral success ever was the European elections of 2014. They got their traditional 25% of the vote (4.7 million) and they won the largest number of seats, 24, four more than the "republican right".

Interesting the European elections were single round elections -- unlike all other French elections.


Primarily as an antidepressant, I'm going to be blindly optimistic. The downside is that we've elected an unstable incompetent as the next president. But, probably the risk of a major nuclear exchange is less than one in six.

On the bright side, our political parties are realigning in a more honest fashion.

We had: 'free-market crony capitalists' dogwhistling racists vs 'center-right globalists'

Now, we have, 'center racists' vs 'globalists'

It isn't a great time to be a minority or a believer in democracy, but progressives may finally see some progress. I'd also guess that the long-term demographic outlook will eventually (10-15 years) kill the republican party.

I think that many Trump voters were fairly rational. (a) There are a lot of racists in the US. They're decent people, but, well, decent people in the sense that they're a bit afraid of brown people. This is normal. Based on my experience as a yellowish person, we aren't that wild about white people either. At that point, voting for an anti-immigration candidate based on xenophobia is rational. Evil, but rational. (b) There are rational reasons to believe that global trade and immigration both negatively impact low skill wages in countries running a trade deficit. Now, given that trade pacts tend to make both countries richer, the rational thing to do would be to compensate the people who are negatively affected. We haven't done that. Now, technological change is probably a larger factor. so there's less rationality behind this than you'd think...but there is still something there. If you're an out of work steel worker or a waiter at a restaurant, it is rational to prefer to reduce the amount of competition.* (d) But, the Republican party addressed their base in the following fashion: (Ken Williamson, National Review)

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

(f) There's also a real cultural component. A perfectly rational Southern scientist of my acquaintance led with: 'at least we get to keep our guns for another 4 years'. I kind of don't get it, but it you think of guns as flyover country's equivalent of yarmalukes, maybe it makes some sense. Even though they kill tons of people and serve no real purpose, maybe, for practical purposes, gun control comes across as more of a defacto culture war and should be decided on a state-by-state basis.

(e) So, voting for Trump over the competition, simply based on his campaign promises, seems rational. Imagine being at the bottom of a hole. On one hand, you've got a snake-oil salesman - who promises to get you out of the hole using magic rope. On the other, you've got an honest guy who says that the hole will be repurposed as a sewage tank (you get to stay). Even if you don't believe the salesman, you probably pick him based on believing the honest guy. Maybe the horse will sing. Or turn out to be completely incompetent. Or collapse the hole on your head, killing you.

OTOH, it sucks knowing that the main hope for the future is that the president-elect has a very distant relationship with the truth.

--Erwin *The base argument that increased CO2 levels result in increased absorption of infrared and thereby heat the planet is simple. It has also been seen to happen. Arguments against global warming tend to be complex and require a high standard of proof. Similarly, the base argument that vastly increasing the labor market killed manufacturing wages is simple and was seen to happen. Therefore, arguing that free trade has benefited the rust belt would require a high standard of proof. I don't dispute that the US has benefited enormously, just that flyover country did well at all. It is clear that, at least relative to the rest of the nation, they did pretty badly.




The answer to automation from Trump supporters is to ban it. I'm not kidding on that. I expect that sooner or later we will get a candidate who is

  • Anti-immigration
  • Anti-trade
  • Anti-automation

Now, Trump is only the first two. However, I would gamble that his successor will be against all three.

(b) The communities voting for Trump and Brexit are in my mind no different than the agricultural counties (such as in Kansas) in the Industrial Revolution voting for socialists as automation of agriculture was bankrupting family farms left and right and forcing its inhabitants to move to the city.

(c) I understand where gun opponents are coming from, but in the South guns occupy the same cultural space that cars occupy in most of the West. How would a party banning cars go in your country?


Sign seen in London, outside a Restaurant/Bar, yesterday:

"All Americans must be accompanied by an Adult" That made me laugh; thank you. Been thinking about Adulting a lot post election. (Pic link for the lazy - first google hit - 'All Americans must be accompanied by adult': Coffee shop sign splits opinion after Donald Trump win (Evening Standard))


"There are a lot of racists in the US. They're decent people"

It happened! Now I finally understand how Trump could happen. While I wasn't looking, somebody transported me to Bizarroworld. Racism, sexism, xenophobia are forms of decency here, and decency (AKA "PC" and "SJW") are heinous crimes that must be eradicated!

God, I must contact Superman or the Justice League immediately. I've been here for far too many years too long.


I fear (Or hope) we're nearing the end of a long tortuous "Charlie Foxtrot", with a Goldbergian* number of suboptimal choices, each of which seemed kind of reasonable at the time. One of the conceptual errors (Out of more than I can enumerate!) is treating self reliance, a vital part of a well-balanced life, as the only important thing, even in contradiction of popular mythology. One might say we've been gifted with everything to make enough wine for a celebration, but we insist on making vinegar. If there's an afterlife, deceased conservatives may be required to watch this play out while they squirm and mutter "Oh Fuck!" over and over. Automation was supposed to be the key to abundance and a step to transcending our beastliness, and it's being turned into a tool for enslavement. I must agree with our perennial ray of sunshine, we're fucked and our partner reeked of stale beer and flatulence.


We're actually quite positive, underneath it all. It was supposed to be a bit of art to provide armor for the psych and all that. Whether or not that worked, as a form of inoculation, remains to be seen.

And, I'm afraid to say, the party is just getting started.

Clinton Shills Need to Be Cleaned out of Mainstream Media Observer, 11th Nov, 2016

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

So, there you go: Day #4, first calls for Purges. I shall collect my Prize Pineapple now.

Oh, and a freebie: they've learnt to adapt. Nothing in that piece is factually incorrect, so doesn't (technically) cause ethical outrage spasms in Our Kind... It just omits the whole "if you're going to purge one side, you have to purge the other if you want quasi-objective factual news".

There are rays of sunshine though: Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to 'Stop Funding Hate' Independent, 12th Nov 2016

[Couple of links removed: too depressing]


I forgot to say, the Goldberg I'm referring to is "Rube". And when I see "Donald Trump is..." I tend to autocomplete in a NSFW fashion... And doesn't Devo's "Jocko Homo" seem to have acquired fresh relevance?


Quick question, though I apologise for going a little off topic...

Now that donald grump (sorry, every time I see him appear on TV he always seems to look miserable), I mean trump is set to become president is there an equally bleak picture whereby something similar could happen over here in the UK?

I'm tempted to say nigel farrage, but I can't see how he goes from where he is now to becoming PM. Who is the equivilent of donald trump in the UK?



Well. I tend to restrict 'indecent' to < 20% of the population. Given that nearly 50% were comfortable voting for Trump... They're gonna be a force in politics in those numbers.

Besides, when my parents bought their first house, there was still a blurb in the lease about not selling to mixed race couples...

Racism, sexism, homophobia... are evil. They are also common. Most people hate something. Maybe schizophrenics, maybe autistics, maybe fundamentalist Christians. Some people get pissed off by non-foodies. Or, if you're having trouble finding hatred in your heart, either people attracted to small children or people who hate other people. It is probably overly optimistic to act on the assumption that, in a nation that passed the equal rights amendment not too long ago, racism is anywhere close to dead. I'd suggest settling for 'not killing each other on the street all that often.'. Asking for more than grudging tolerance will likely result in an early death owing to poor digestion.

[[ fixed HTML - mod ]]


Tech advances like computers and containerized shipping raise productivity to the point where less workers are needed to provide a fixed level of goods and services. So employment earnings drop, causing private sector economic demand to stagnate. Prices decline, along with market interest rates. Government's fiscal stimulus by way of trillions in needed infrastructure spending is an obvious remedy, which Democrats would have paid for with higher taxes on top incomes. Republicans blocked it before because they hate income redistribution, but now they'll try paying for it by selling trillions in U.S. bonds, a good idea when interest rates are low. But the more often they repeat this process, the higher the price they have to pay for additional loans. Eventually rates go so high that inflation kicks in and the Fed has to pull a Volker move, using monetary tightening to choke off economic activity. Government revenues are then used increasingly just to make interest payments, reducing the likelihood of any further stimulus spending. Top earners are happy because they've got all this easy money rolling in from the U.S. bonds they bought, but most of the public is worse off from the effects of inflation, punitively high interest rates, and stifled economic activity. Declining tax revenues force imposition of higher tax rates just to pay interest on old debts, who has money to feed the government? Only the top earners. So they reach the same conclusion as Democrats would have in the first place, why not face reality and save a lot of storm and stress in the meantime, just raise taxes on the wealthy and use it for fiscal stimulus. The wealthy will be just fine, much of that economic activity is going to come right back to them anyway.


As a frenchman, I fail to see much difference between Sarkozy and Le Pen. Well, Le Pen's economics may be slightly more on the left. Socially, they're the same. He's proven it already.



"I suspect the voting choices are to a large extent a protest against politicians as a class."

A number of explanations are being offered, e.g. "the last stand of the white male" and "political sabotage by the disenfranchised". Those narratives sound good initially and to a degree seem to make sense, but - without going into details here - it also seems to me that there are numerous internal contradicitons, and the coherence of the narratives seem to fall apart after a while. So, I rather feel that for example the "political sabotage by the disenfranchised" narrative is peddled by disappointed Bernie-followers for entirely political reasons.

I am more interested in the notion how modern communication, specifically memes and social media reposts, have turned voting more volatile. For example, consider the rejection of Hillary Clinton. There are so many stories out there vilifying her (Benghazi, email server, Wall Street connections, the entire wikileaks revelations) that has obviously tarnished her reputation, and interestingly once you start digging through it, surprisingly little is of actual coherence or substance - but it sticks to her like tar. Clinton can legitimately be viewed as a cynical, opportunistic politician - like all politicians. But there is no evidence that she's a dangerous, deranged criminal.


But there is no evidence that she's a dangerous, deranged criminal.

Um, about that.

Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he diedYT, CBSNews, Oct 2011 0:11.

You can argue that the entire American political process is entirely based on ignoring reality and letting the "few good (wo)men" do the dirty bits, and you can argue that all members of NATO would agree that the assassination of Gaddafi was a 'good / justifiable' action and you can argue that Drone Striking his convoy & using special forces to assassinate him is justifiable in the Great Game - but you can't claim that Clinton isn't 100% on board with it.

It's the laughing about it in public, on a public TV channel that's the kicker, and using a modified version of Caesar's Veni, Vidi, Vici really doesn't help matters. It's a public statement of Empire, laughing at the death of the leader of a sovereign nation.

"Bad Optics".

Hint: 'neurotypical' humans view such things as sociopathic, they're hard-wired to reject it.


But please, continue spinning your own narrative, I'm sure it's nice in that cocoon.


Now that donald grump (sorry, every time I see him appear on TV he always seems to look miserable)

This is why, when he first announced his candidacy, I was calling him Trumpy Cat, until someone here said it was unfair to cats. So now I go with T.Rump since he's such an ass.

As for your question; I thought it already had, though BoJo is obvious for physical reasons.


I think that she being on board with drone strikes and Gaddafi assassination doesn't qualify her as "dangerous, deranged criminal". Possibly "dangerous criminal" but not deranged since she applies logic reasoning.


Just got a forwarded spam addressed with claiming to be an ÃMÃZÕN refund. Any bets they're in Russia?


The social media just justifies the underlying story on either side. If you heard stories from his supporters, first it was the wall, and isis, and then it was emails and corruption, and bill-the rapist. It does not matter. White people of the rust belt states wanted things changed.

Problem is why was data so off? Democrats have brains on their side, they should use them to predict and counter this but if you don't have a way of finding facts (people lied? the polling methods are bad?), no wonder when crazy person ends up in charge. Orange one had a campaign based on a hunch, no reasoning, no people, pundits, nothing and it worked against whole measure three times, then cut system. Scientist in me is deeply disturbed.

Hopefully this will bring some new talent in charge and send Clintons and other dynasties to the back of the stage.


Orange one had a campaign based on a hunch, no reasoning, no people, pundits, nothing and it worked against whole measure three times, then cut system. Scientist in me is deeply disturbed.

You really should read the input of some mad witch for the last couple of years.

She told you how it's done, and she was drunk, drunk, drunk.

The Peanut Gallery listened, and look where it got them.


Anyhow: Promises, promises. Can't ignore the promises.

You still get the buffalo-jump, it's just not the nice version. It's the Real Deal[tm] version, snapped femurs, panick'd screams and the Hunters coming down to finish it all off. And we never promised the Hunters would be human, either.


As for why the polls were off, well, there is one plausible, simple reason. They were not. The US mostly uses electronic voting machines with proprietary, IE, closed software. This is not safe.

Rigging an election the old fashioned way requires you to have corrupted the parts of the civil service responsible for running the election thoroughly. Hacking a computerized election just requires you to have a handful of competent coders, and no regard for the integrity of the electoral process. It's not difficult to come up with a list of people who would attempt this. In other words, I'd like to see a recount by hand of a couple of those states that at least have the good sense to have their machines print a ballot as well.

Alternatively, people were just really embarrassed to admit to pollsters that they intended to vote trump. I don't get the kind of cognitive dissonance that would allow you to go ahead and vote for a candidate for public office you don't even want to be associated with to the degree of saying you support them in an poll, but.. well, I don't get a lot of things lots of people routinely do.


Anyhow, tickled:

Some great Ancient "UK" stuff:

The Bronze Age stone measuring 42 feet (13 m) by 26 feet (7.9 m) was rediscovered in 1887 by the Rev. James Harvey. It features around 90 carved indentations, considered to be one of the finest sets of petroglyphs in Scotland.

The stone was reburied in the 1960s to protect it against vandalism. In 2015 it was partially re-exposed for investigation during a 3-day dig by a team involving archaeologists from the University of Glasgow,[3] with a more complete re-exposure following a year later.

Will the Secrets Behind the 5000-year-old Cochno Stone Finally Be Solved? Ancient Origins, 8th Sept 2016. [4-toed beasties!]

A more recent analysis found that the gold used in the first phase was from the river Carnon in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The tin content of the bronze was also from Cornwall.

Dated to c. 1600 BC, Nebra Sky Disk is one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century The Vintage News, 24yh July 2016 [look for where the copper came from]


If you've not worked out that Huffington Post claiming that it was a 98% certain for Clinton was a big fucking red flag of doooooooom yet, I can't help you.

Loki. Never fucking poke Loki, he's a bit of a psychopath when annoyed.


I think all the explanations being offered are correct (more or less) as a group:

Clinton was treated far worse by the media than Trump. (Correct.)

Trump was an outsider and people liked that. (Also correct.)

Trump did a much better job of understanding what the average rust-belt voter was thinking and feeling,* and he spoke to those issues more intelligently than Clinton. (Yes, also correct.)

Bernie would have been a better candidate. (Probably correct.)

Polling was poor. (Duh!)

Etc. Any given thing can have more than one cause, and it amazes me that people forget this simple fact, then, quite stupidly, argue about causes. Growls!

  • I don't think he actually needed to do it, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Trump sent someone to study the concerns of the ordinary Farm/Rust Belt voter.

Machines do have a printout tape. And it is printed as you fill it in electronically. You see the tape with your choices and need to confirm they are the same. At least in my blue-democratic state. I am pretty sure that thing is off the table since there would be no acceptance of the result.

Lying is one possibility especially since the results were off in traditionally blue states where it could be shameful to choose deplorable one. Moore mentioned that more people voted for R in primaries there and the polls were off predicting Bernie win in Michigan. Don't know but I hope, hope someone will start putting some braincells to work.



In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser. The term had a strong sexual connotation, and the shame reflected on the perpetrator as well.


Please do remember that Qaddafi was sodomized with a knife before dying.

Tereus desired his wife's sister, Philomela. He forced himself upon her, then cut her tongue out and held her captive so she could never tell anyone. He told his wife that her sister had died. Philomela wove letters in a tapestry depicting Tereus's crime and sent it secretly to Procne. In revenge, Procne killed Itys and served his flesh in a meal to his father Tereus.


And so on.


Yes. I know that. I'd kind of like some checking done that what's on those printouts total the same as what the machines sent on to counting central.


You'll note that the later meaning of hubris, "arrogance by putting oneself above the God(s)" is a bit different from the original meaning.

Unpack that, you might understand 2016 a bit clearer.

Or not.


And so:

Clinton losing from the 90-98% winning polls = ὕβρις enacted.

Trump winning when he never intended to = ὕβρις enacted.

[redacted] laughing with glee at the outcome = ὕβρις enacted (although that little one hasn't played out quite yet, but it's coming).

America got fucked by one of the Old Ones.



Oh, and unlike our punishments (No Man's Sky) where it's a large hit with a tiny tail...

That one loves long tails.

waves to Vox Day and co

G'luck, you'll need it. (I jest, Chance is his domain, and you fuckers willingly signed the dotted line).


I'm so thankful for that particular example because it describes exactly what I mean: A ca. 12 seconds long clip outside of the interview, completely devoid of context. It says really nothing other than, yeah, maybe she's prone to tasteless jokes - at best.

Is it proof for derangement? No. Is it proof for dangerousness? No. Is it proof for criminal activity? No. ... and so on. And yes, it certainly is not proof for sociopathy or other neuro-atypical-ness.

This, as well as many other clips and memes making the rounds on social media, is simply no credible case for "Killary-for-jail-2016". Not here, nor about her alleged murdered bodyguards and business contacts, nor about her public/private positions, and whatnot. Hillary is certainly no idealistic Bernie Sanders, but neither is she anywhere near the worst examples of current opportunistic and corrupt politics in the USA.

But the propaganda has stuck particularly well.

Now, forgive me, I will not engage in a discussion of H.R.Clinton's ethics further. Her political power games have certainly corrupted her to some degree or another. That just puts her into good company with pretty much all high-level politicians. But that's not my point.


Hacking a computerized election just requires you to have a handful of competent coders, and no regard for the integrity of the electoral process.

And would there be a place known for both competent coders and an affinity for Trump?

(I'm kinda surprised I haven't seen that speculation in the news, after the 'Russia in close contact with Trump campaign' news stories. OTOH, I'm not obsessively following the news, so I might have missed it.)


Regarding your first paragraph: exactly. I guess it goes somewhere in the direction that 15 years ago, it was mostly impossible to ignore the official facts, i.e. what was written in the newspapers, on TV etc. Nowadays, it seems that what is on TV, what is in the newspapers etc. hardly matters anymore. If you just bring out enough memes and 12-second-clips on youtube, you can character-assassinate any decent person.

Regarding models and polls: Well I assume the statistician's models are true and tested - in previous elections. But apparently something fundamental has changed from previous elections and the old models don't predict turnout, voter swing or whatever precisely enough anymore.


When experiment goes wrong you check your machine, design new procedures, start troubleshooting, but one thing that you never do is going back to alchemy or blaming the Gods.


Sigh, now forgive me, you're a fucking psychopath or woefully ignorant.

Here's the sanitized, non-HD, non-video (selection of stills) feed of Quaddafi getting sodomized by a knife

Here NSFL, obviously.

Here's the PSYOP high-production valued version:

Freedom Group NSFL - you'll note it's in HD

And here's him being beaten to death:

Low Quality NSFL


If you're not a fucking muppet, here's a few tips:

1 HD version = pro cam action (for the record - only non-HD / fuzzed / cam quality was released to media for a while to aid the whole "only rebels did this, nothing to do with our Predator strike on the convoy and/or SPEC OPs on the ground") 2 Spot the non-Libyan Spec Ops in the background, trying very hard to stay outside of shot 3 This was patched, live, into USA OPs, which is why Clinton states at the end of that clip:

CBSNEWS: "It had nothing to do with your visit" CLINTON: "No... I'm sure it did"


Are you going to grow up, or stick to your bullshit?


Hmm, well I was less talking about why Trump won, and more about why Clinton's rep was so easily tarnished.

"Clinton was treated far worse by the media than Trump." I feel the media antagonised Trump much more than Clinton. Or what do you mean?

"Trump was an outsider and people liked that." Doesn't convince me. If being an outsider would help you tarnish your opponent, we should see more outsiders win.

"Bernie would have been a better candidate." Doesn't convince me either. I can see that the Bernie crowd'd be mad at HRC, but the flung dung seemed to stick more generally to her?


We somehow need to test this if it the chicken or the egg first. Do memes create voters or voters propagate their memes? System worked mostly everywhere predicting correctly except 2 rust belt states. So someone failed only there, or ignored the facts because they didn't like them.


Yea, A Russian hacker, of course. My comment on finding that Trumpolini was looking almost certain to win was: "Putin has just won the US election" I still hold to that statement.


And, if you want an education: Her visit was timed to coincide with the assassination.

That's how the Empire Rolls.

Is it proof for derangement? No.

Yes, of course it is: you don't laugh about a human being being tortured, sodomized and beaten to death unless you're fucking deranged.

Is it proof for dangerousness? No.

Yes, of course it is: you don't organize drone strikes, then assassinations and then visit the fucking country and quote fucking Caesar unless you're dangerous.

Is it proof for criminal activity? No.

Yes, of course it is: unless you missed it, ex-judicial assassination of sovereign nations leaders even after declaring war (which wasn't done in the case of Libya) is against the Geneva Convention. You know, in case you missed the important of Nuremberg and all that.

But, tell me more how fucking sane you sound right now. 'Cause it ain't very sane to most of us.


I think you need to look up "psychopath", "ignorant", "fucking", "woefully", "muppet", and a few other words. Don't forget to look up "evidence", "how", "does", "that", "prove" and "anything".

Happy to keep up a more civilised and informative discourse, but I'm rather certain you can't or won't do that.


"Do memes create voters or voters create memes?" Good point. Feeback loop?


And yes: As Secretary of State (at that time), Clinton was representing her country in these Deranged, Dangerous and Criminal Acts.

Fucking Grow up already.


And that's the shit they allow on CBSNews & Liveleak and don't scrub. The shit you don't see?

Ooooh, it's a little bit worse, my friend.


Sorry. Wait.

You're trying to pull some kind of "I'm more intelligent / knowledgeable than thou" trick here?

Now that's funny.


Oooh, gooodie. Want to play, proper like?

"Do memes create voters or voters create memes?" Good point. Feeback loop?

You've so little idea about this realm, your Republic got fucked by a Green Pepe Frog. Made by children and autistic loners on a chan board.

I'd suggest you're a bit out of your depth, little one.


You're a troll. I don't feed trolls.

But please throw me a few more insults. Maybe I learn something new.


Watch the videos. Then you might learn something new.

Human biology and applications of violence for one thing, as well as the reality of "The New American Century".


And no, I'm not a troll.

You're a child, unwilling to learn and arrogant enough to play silly JTrig games.

You got fucked by a fucking Kek Frog God and you're not even aware that some us have been stopping the worse things happening.



Speaking of le Pen,

Basically, former Breitbart CEO and Trump Campaign Chief is now going to work for le Pen.

For anyone who doesn't know Breitbart, they think Fox News is too liberal.


Yes, well, obviously.

BRAND - export the successful formula, that MF and people like Mal allow to work because they won't / cannot adapt quickly enough.

You're getting fucked because you're not hungry / willing to change.

They are, and thus they're winning.


Maybe I am wrong, but somehow I don't see lots of MI or WI middle aged white people using 4chan. Pepe didn't work in CA, or NY where people are more addicted to social media. Can you be more specific?
I admit I am ignorant, no arguing there.


The chans are weapons testing areas. Hot Box. Hot Zone. Green House. (Insert your particular lexicon translation here).

Of course you don't use the Frog, but you do use the underlying mimetic patterns. "Viral Spread", hot hot business model for click-bait sites, natural fit for alt-media / Alex Jones / Right-wing radio etc.

Something came along and basically uplifted the old zzzzz patterns of Evangelicals / Right Radio etc into something a little more weaponized.

And yes: of course you make it more normal, less harsh, better camouflaged for the white-bread American virgins who are about to have their Minds fucked.

But that's how it was done, and we told you it was happening.


Ok, so basically someone (Russians? Chinese? or Breibart himself with Thiel and Mercer?) socially engineered this on web, then it spread by infecting local radio/tv? figures and that spread the disease locally?

Whatever you did, if you are just posting like here, I am not sure you were able to convert loads of people.


I always wondered who clicks on clickbait sites, now I know.



Pull the site DB, GREP for Mussolini, pictures of Trump, discussions of Art etc. We were telling you the plays about a year or two before they happened. In fact, we were giving you an inoculation strategy, a weapons sale and some other things as well.

The Peanut Gallery read it, and read it well. They were masturbating over it with glee.

MF and American "Liberals"... did not.

Guess who won?

I am not sure you were able to convert loads of people.

You should read a few books sometime. There's one called "Mein Kampf". Terrible seller initially. Badly written. Depressingly retrograde and puerile in its philosophy. Converted a few volk eventually though.

Oh, and of course it's not only one thing or another: it's a complex and multiple thread strategy that CTR and the fuckwits in the Dems can barely parse.

As of December 2014, Thiel was Palantir's largest shareholder.

Hint: Thiel owns a large stake in Palantir Technologies... and they were getting front-ridden, spanked and shafted with ease.

Oh, until we got bored of your shitty attitudes, no-fun patronizing and lies.


Who won?

And if you own Palantir, gaslighting is like built into the fucking model. And they still couldn't break on through...


Anyhow, the actual important bit:








Interesting Thiel-gay is pushing this and Pence will likely become president. Not convinced, but I do see how it could happen.

I think I understand now. Did you do it for Bernie, or the revolution was spontaneous? Anyway, maybe Dems/progressives will be more likely to listen now. Now I have to go do some work, thank you for explanations.


I think I understand now. Did you do it for Bernie, or the revolution was spontaneous?

You're about as far away from understanding as is possible right now. In fact, you're so far from understanding that you should sell land deeds to Narnia since you appear to be there.


Are you like 12?


And no, neither Trump nor Pence will make the cut.

If you really think that the retrograde elements of a moribund splice of humanity will be allowed to break the Empire, you're more deluded than I thought.


I think what the troll with the mutable names who is giving everyone turing test false negatives is getting at is that there were several organized campaigns of paid-for sock-puppetry across social media. IF you have decent templates and standard snippets and arguments lined up, it's possible for one paid troll to post political propaganda and smears across dozens of communities, as dozens, hundreds of personas. Since most people have a fairly well bounded electronic presence, it's not obvious that the argument's they're hearing are in fact very mildly modified versions of standard screeds put forth by someone who is arguing in bad faith because they're being paid to.

Thus everyone hears - from someone that appears to belong to their social ingroup - that Hillary is a monster, and Trump is great, and it's.. not even all that much more expensive than TV air-time.

It might be a cause. I'm not sure what to do about it if it is, and I'm still not ruling out the much simpler theory of "US elections are counted by electrons, and proper computer security is rare indeed".


Re #2 Spot the non-Libyan Spec Ops in the background, trying very hard to stay outside of shot Hmm. FWIW took a few tries/vpn endpoints to get those videos to work, ended up using chrome (in a jail). Thanks, had never seen them. (Watched with empathy turned up, ouch.)


Nope, still not getting it.

Not even close.

So far from close not even intelligently sourcing multiple JTrig / Eglin Air Base / 77th Brigade / Actual Russian stuff (the troll farms are low-end).


Quoting Ancient Greek Poetry at you.

Giving you the present in the past to change the future


The point, TJ, is that we've proved that the "professionals", even those using large amounts of processing power (Cough Sentiment Analysis Cough) coupled with large work-forces and pretty little tools and flow-charts...

Are. Worse. Than. Biological. Mind(s).

It's a statement of sanity, to prevent genocide / further retrograde and PENIS driven killing / societal shaping that prevents a multiplicity of Minds to exist because Ayn Rand (or whomever, G_D the Cunt version) has infected your little meat-meta-processing-plants.

It's a joke / challenge / test / empathy thing.

You lost. We Won. Get Fucked.


Oh, and yes, this is the real joke: Make a choice.

You know the Science and Reality and Enlightenment and all the rest.

And you're now facing being "ruled" by the worst of the worst.

And tick-tock, tick-tock, Climate Change is coming Soon[tm].

You really gonna let them genocide your children / nation, while outlawing Science, Empathy, Women's Voices and so on?


This Shit Just Got Real


And, from MF:

If there is a God up there, you know, now would be a time to like, exert your influence.

Maybe you shouldn't torture our kind then.

Chemical BurnYT: Film Fight Club: 2:39


nose wiggle

Didn't say it earlier, but waiting for the Shadow State to do a full Everyone Gets Clipped YT: Film Casino: 4:00

Oh, and yeah: That's Hotel California if you want to keep the score.


Oh fuck.


I need some answer after spending so much time through this. Pretty please (I do feel 12).


"You have it backwards. If the President ignores a bill it does NOT become law. This is called a pocket veto. I assume it means he sticks it in his pocket and pretends it never showed up.".


Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2

" ... If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it ..."


"make sure you have a passport (uncommon for most USA people). "

A quick google search for "U.S. Passports issued returns:

"According to the State Department, there are 113,431,943 valid passports in circulation, which means 36% of Americans own a valid passport (and therefore 64% do not)."

I suppose deciding whether 1 out of 3 is 'uncommon' is a value judgement.


Of the 56.1 million usually resident population of England and Wales in 2011, 76 per cent (42.5million) held a UK passport, 7.4 per cent (4.2 million) held a foreign passport only (of which 372,000 were Irish passports). There were 17 per cent (9.5 million) who stated they did not hold a passport.

You'll note that was from 2014, when the UK was still playing nice and being part of the EU.

The UK was never a part of Schengen, so include this into EU statistics:


So, yeah: 36% is tiny.


That's ~ 83% ish, not including Scotland, which has comparable rates.

So, <20% do not have a passport.

If you're smart, you'll then work out which passports are worth the most in this world (in terms of lack of Visa requirements, open borders, freedom from denial of egress etc):

1 UK 2 USA

The fact that 64% can't even be bothered to own one of the most valuable pieces of paper in the world says it all.

Empire = Great Passports.

Dumb Empire = Never getting one or understanding why it's useful.


I'd argue that "significantly more likely not to have a passport, than to have one" can be called 'uncommon'.

By the way my understanding is that most US citizens don't have a passport because they can't afford to fly abroad to begin with, so why bother?


$264 from Miami to Rafael Núñez, Colombia.



If I were smart, I'd know the difference between egress and ingress.

And if I were really smart, I'd know better than to waste my time replying to someone whose posts are commonly indistinguishable from line-noise.


My interpretation of what "the troll with the mutable names who is giving everyone turing test false negatives" (<- nice) says is that:

  • 4chan (or whatever, anonymous, some world-saving highly intelligent and/or autistic anarchists, the biological minds) brought fourth memes (via some evolutionary approach) to harm HRC's chances of getting elected and to get Trump into the White House.
  • They, i.e. their biology-based method, were better at that sort of influence than the professionals with a machine-based approach (Palantir, Thiel, the silicon, whatever).
  • "They won", i.e. 4chan won, and thus prevented genocide by HRC and whatnot.
  • Also, with Trump in the White House, society/the sheep is finally forced to either face (down) Trump and the climate change deniers/those who would exploit workers forever/whatnot and make a choice between our children's futures/climate change aversion and ... erm ... remaining witless sheep?

If that's not it I don't know. Personally I don't berlieve it - of course - but I'm actually also prepared to expect him with the mutable name to paint me as intelligence stooge pulling off a jtrig op in order to lure you on the wrong track. Or confound you.

By the way and seriously: how do I know the guy being s... with a knife is Ghaddafi? No face. Also: can't find a non-Libyan specOp trying to avoid the frame. Screenshot?

Finally: the video I'd really be interested in is the one with the allegedly implicating Veni-Vidi-Clinton in context, i.e. the previous two and the following two minutes.


Egress =

formal the action of going out of or leaving a place. "direct means of access and egress for passengers"

It was used correctly. i.e. The Power of an Empire backed Passport is in preventing people taking it away from you and stopping you leaving a country where you might be viewed badly.

It's actually one of the most important parts of Passports. i.e. "DO NOT FUCK WITH OUR CITIZENS OR BAD THINGS HAPPEN".

"line-noise"... sigh.

Or just shit you don't understand. Happy to play grandmother and hold your hand though, dear.


$264... I think you're trying to say here that the argument is ridiculous because it's so cheap to make that journey?

In that case may I humbly suggest to check out how little money many US citizens have. Michael Moore has made a few movies illustrating that, provided that you think he's trustworthy.


Sigh, no.

Just stop.

You don't know enough to even get close to an explanation.

It's kinda just embarrassing.

but I'm actually also prepared to expect him with the mutable name


Ok, now you're just being rude.

By the way and seriously: how do I know the guy being s... with a knife is Ghaddafi? No face.

"DUDE" - you do a bit of research and find the actual full video and not the safe version that was posted. Oh, wait - you're trolling, I forgot. Nope, totally not Quaddafi despite the three videos showing it and the other 15 waiting in the line. But, thanks for showing your Mind as a sewer, and dishonest:

Youtube Skip to 0:24 - 0:38 (post bottom stabbing) for his face.


Thanks for playing and showing us all which script you're running though.


$192 Oakland (OAK) to Vancouver (YVR) $219 Los Angeles (LAX) to Victoria (YYJ)

Flights from the USA to foreign countries ain't exactly... expensive.


Savings =/= Cash in hand.

Roughly 60% of Americans have less than $1k in savings. This =/= cash in hand.

Most Americans could grab a Credit Card and use it to escape the country, or could cease payments on CC / rent / debt for 3 weeks to get that amount saved and then leave.

Logic / Brain - use it.


You done being childish and silly yet?


In re: 'uncommon', I did say it was a value judgement, and you certainly have a colorable argument.

Was amusing to see Mrs. Line Noise reaction to the injection of facts to the discussion :-)

Now, in re: "they can't afford to fly abroad to begin with".

Uh, now, you're just giving me the piss, right ?

Until 5 or 10 years ago, US citizens could travel to Mexico, Canada, and the vast majority of the Carribean without having a passport, so it was quite a bit more uncommon to have one. Now, you have to have one to take a cruise, or hop a flight to Cancun, and those are common vacation destinations from the US. ( memo to self ... time to renew passport )


And, little ones.

We're being nice.

This is charity work for your damaged psychosis post-Trump.

You'll all get a badge and a hug at the end.


Was amusing to see Mrs. Line Noise reaction to the injection of facts to the discussion :-)






@Host. We understand. Vox Day special needs categories. They don't quite understand the Real Deal[tm] Buffalo-Jump yet.


Mr Latham - you do know that VD is, well. Let's just say: he was afforded some protections beforehand, but now, no longer... Right?

Just to make sure you know what you're playing with here.


And yes: Mr Man.

We can see where your tracks come from and your glittering path across the void is obvious.

Like, derp.

I just referenced Palantir and said it was shit. You might imagine that there's better things out there... But, no: it's ape time for the puppy clams.


The fact that 64% can't even be bothered to own one of the most valuable pieces of paper in the world says it all.

You've overlooked the logistics of the situation.

Imagine a person who lives in London and travels five hundred miles; they're in Scotland, the ocean, or Europe (baring Brexit stupidity they'll be fine). The same distance from Prague or Istanbul offers quite a few nations.

Now imagine an American from Denver, Kansas City, or Atlanta: all land within 500 miles is part of the United States. All of it! New Orleans is five hundred miles away from the Mexican border. San Francisco? Four hundred miles to the border. Miami? It's 250 miles to Havana and you don't want to go there anyway.

Many Americans don't need passports.


Well, I think it just validates the argument: most people need passports for travel. If you don't/didn't need it for clos countries, you still need it for further-away destinations. Which are more expensive. So when US-Americans tell me that many citizens don't have a passport because they can't afford to fly (to those destinations that require it) abroad... I'm not sure where I take the piss. Not trying to be provocative btw.


Many Americans cannot afford to travel to any place which requires a passport.


Until 5 or 10 years ago, US citizens could travel to Mexico, Canada, and the vast majority of the Carribean without having a passport, so it was quite a bit more uncommon to have one.

This, which I didn't want to get into in the previous post. Yes, Canada is very nice. Many interesting parts are close to the densely populated northeastern US. If people don't need special paperwork to visit, why bother?

For Americans there are only two countries that can possibly be casually visited anyway.


Sigh, fucking Americans.

Category Error and you've fallen foul to the worst type of Republican / Ayn Rand propaganda shite, mostly due to being molly-cuddled and free from invasion for too long.

Passport =/= Travel.

Passport = Citizen of Country, pre-ID, signed up Citizen and bearer of Nation State Responsibility.

Your Passport = "I am a citizen and I am engaged with our Nation and I understand what this entails and I represent our Nation".

That's what it means.

It's LITERALLY a document that shows you're engaged with your Nation State and share responsibility with it. i.e. You get X protections, but also know that Y obligations come with it.

Fucking Passport Tourists


And you fuckers don't even understand what goes into making a Passport useful.

1 UK 2 USA 3 CAN


They get that due to treaties, money, trade, power, weapons and mostly sticking flags all over the place. And you think that it's "not important" because "who travels"....

You're ignorant.


Thanks for the research. So what I hear you say is that 60% of US-Americans have so little cash in hand that a holiday abroad would virtually wipe their savings. So, when I am told that many US-Americans don't have a passport because they can't afford to need one, that seems plausible to me.


And you're so deeply, deeply, deeply ignorant that you don't understand that Passports and "The Day After" are intrinsically linked.

You're voting for Trump because you don't understand the world outside of fucking Hollywood films nor do you understand that such things rest on...

Oh, why bother.

Live and Let Die


"Pizza", fuck 'em - Wings Deploy. Full Purge / Strike / Body Death & Soul Eating - Done with them. #HoundsUnleashed2016 -- #WildHunt2017


If you're Trans in a Pence ruled America, getting the fuck out and saving your life is "probably" more important than worrying about savings.

You know, that whole "being a Jew in Germany 1936" thought process.

But thanks for proving you're a fucking troll/sociopath.


That's not the point. Your statistics covers pre-election numbers and there is no imminent reason to leave the country yet. Further, you established yourself that 36% of the US population has a passport. How do you know that doesn't cover the LGTBQ+ community? So...

Ah who cares.

I don't try to pretend I know what you are trying to pretend to be. Since it seems important to you: if I had to guess your gender I'd go with boy. But of course I don't know, and you know I don't know, and we both hopefully agree it doesn't matter, and I needed to use a personal pronoun in my sentence, hence "him".

Related to an earlier post: trying to divide Logic by Brain and substracting use does not improve your logic.

Thanks for the Ghaddafi links. Didn't need to see that but well. I think you understand that I maintain this evidences not your apparent claim. You're entitled to your own opinion of course.

As I wrote earlier, there is one thing I'd be interested in if you have a link: the veni-vidi-Clinton interview in its entirety. But I assume you don't have it, and I guess we both know that it probably lets HRC look a lot less sinister. By the way your transcription was off: the interviewer asks if it had anything to do with her visit, and HRC answers "no". Anyway I'm less interested in peddling HRC's ethics, as I wrote in my initial post.

I'm a child´? I'm not, but I take it as a compliment. Unwilling to learn? Quite the opposite. Arrogant? Yes. Me Jtrig? I actually had to google that. No. (But then, that's what I'd say, wouldn't I?)

You don't strike me as a hacker. You're too deliberately show-off-y... too many secrets. But if you have the entire Clinton interview clip, I'll be impressed.


I think it is instructive to see the breakdown of US passport holders by state. It probably says something about the worldview of different areas.

Top 5 states have ~50% US passport holders, bottom five have only 15-20%.

A very quick look also seems to show that States with higher non-citizen residents also have higher % US passport holders.


Passport =/= Travel.

Passport = Citizen of Country, pre-ID, signed up Citizen and bearer of Nation State Responsibility.

Your Passport = "I am a citizen and I am engaged with our Nation and I understand what this entails and I represent our Nation".

No. A passport is an official document used to pass through a port or other border crossing. The closest document to what you describe that an American might have is a voter registration card; that's what it sounds like, a wallet sized piece of paper containing one's voter information. Most people don't bother carrying theirs because they aren't needed between elections and polling places will know who to expect anyway. (They're handy in case of paperwork confusion, however. I've got mine...somewhere.) Passports are very handy to show that the bearer is a known person, however.

Until I had a job involving checking IDs I didn't appreciate how many Americans carried their passports, even deep inside the US, and apparently routinely.


And, since we're a little bit annoyed now, thank-you Puppies for doing that thing.


All of you who have used this tag and reveled in the 'so daring' darkness surrounding it.

Not. Fucking. Ok.

We're rather "big" on Consent and rather unimpressed with the "darkness" chique that you've spun around the matter.

So, here's what's going to happen: Audit.

You played around with the mimetic space - you'll be hurt. Let's say - two years, Mind / Memory attacks, depending on how "enamored" you were with the thoughts. OH, and yes, of course we can read this in real time, we're not fucking apes.

You enacted it in reality against those who cannot give consent - you're fucking dead. Coma / Mental torture is dependent on degrees.

The Smart advice is to kill yourself now: we don't fuck around.

Our. Kind. Do. Not. Go. Mad.


Oh, and one more thing: Your G_Ds died so fast it was pathetic.


I think it is instructive to see the breakdown of US passport holders by state. It probably says something about the worldview of different areas.

Now that's interesting! I'd be curious to see a national map of this data, possibly color coded and extending down to the county level if possible. Your link tells us not only does passport holding correlate with higher income but to proximity to borders. It would be interesting to know how those three variables interact.



Grow up, you're regurgitating propaganda:

Back in those days, passports were of a different nature. Rather than functioning as a document that determined whether a person could leave their country, they were requests from one king to the next soliciting safe passage for the individual in question through the foreign territory.

The king sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem with letters of safe passage to the governors in Trans-Euphrates

Artaxerxes I of Persia

And, yes: I can source the Sumerian, Greek and Roman versions as well.

EGRESS has always been the primary function of "passports".

They're a reciprocal arrangement of safe passage for citizens of differing nation states.


But, sure: don't educate yourself. It's not like you fucking apes didn't fuck the planet up, is it?






The operative sentence here is: "Back in those days, passports were of a different nature", meaning that back in those days, passports were of a different nature. Meaning that passports today have a different purpos compared to when people still believed spooky stuff in Sumerian.

So you didn't really give support to your point.


And, no:

(((SORRY))) The Jews were not the first to do this, by a long, long, hard measure. Sneaking it into the scripture first - maybe.

But, hey, Chutzpah!

Gotta try n claim it first.

If you want a serious reference, it was common in Africa / Egyptian / Kushian empires waaaay before Judaism existed.


So, meh.



EGRESS is 100% the most important part of a passport to this day.

Ask your local CIA / Embassy.

It's literally a "if you fuck with our citizens, there will be repercussions that you don't want to deal with".

Derp... or did you miss the fact that VISA = the more powerful your passport, the less countries you need a visa for?


Fucking Children.


And you all think you're qualified to vote!

Thanks for playing, but we're done here.

Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix)


I don't know how much of the modern United Kingdom's legal code derives from ancient Sumeria. If there's a lot of that going on I'm sure someone here could enlighten me. grin


New Orleans is five hundred miles away from the Mexican border.

Oh hey I love this song. Of course, I'm from Queensland which means that to me, your argument is cute.

My mother is 67 now and has never had a passport. 30 years ago I made a mental note that if I possibly could, one day I'd take her to France in the northern summer and drive through Paris in a convertible. Because of a different song. But it's still to be determined whether the "possible" part comes true. It really might, though by then she may be two times the age in the song.

But anyway - the interesting thing about cities with international borders is that cities are already places where people have opportunities to become familiar with people who are different to them, and multinational cities must make this all the more so. The number of nominally Swedish-resident commuters to Copenhagen is a nice case study. But Laredo, Juarez, Brownsville and San Diego/Tijuana must have some of this too. God knows the Coolangatta/Tweed Heads conurb makes us fear the New-South-Welsh less...


I don't think the US passport info is publicly available to a county level - you'd probably need to make a request for it. The Atlantic did a piece in 2011 which showed some correlation between percentage of passport holders in each state and a couple of other variables - e.g % of university graduates.


Of course, I'm from Queensland which means that to me, your argument is cute.

Conceded! Trying to illustrate American distances to Europeans is one thing; the Australian scale is something else again.

I expect you guys say things like, "Mate, the next town is three hundred miles."


Dude. The New York Times gives Clinton a margin of less than 240,000 votes out of an electorate of over 120,000,000 (when you count in the third party and independent candidate votes). That's a statistical tie.

Dude. The margin is currently 574,000 and growing.


Top 5 states have ~50% US passport holders, bottom five have only 15-20%. That's sad; notably the states that border Mexico/Canada are not solid blue. Passport-lacking inhabitants of these states could point their car south/north and bump into an impassable border crossing within a couple of tanks of fuel. Surely they must feel this is a little weird and jail-like. (Try crossing the border in google street view: U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Fortuna North Dakota Port of Entry) (Speaking as someone who symbolically moved their US passport to a more accessible location Wednesday morning. Also I try to badger relatives and friends into acquiring/maintaining a valid passport.)


...the Australian scale is something else again. Yeah, flying (tourist) over the outback, looking out the window of an RJ, there were 10-15 minute stretches where there were no visible roads.


That's sad; notably the states that border Mexico/Canada are not solid blue. Passport-lacking inhabitants of these states could point their car south/north and bump into an impassable border crossing within a couple of tanks of fuel. Surely they must feel this is a little weird and jail-like.

I live within a single tank of gas of the border, and I've never felt like I was in jail. Next to an asylum, on occasion…

(Haven't crossed the border in a couple of decades. Since the 9/11 attacks I keep meeting people who had trouble returning to Canada, enough so it seems an unnecessary hassle, if not risk.)


USSA Grenzpolizei are giving returning Canadians hassle? Why? ( Other than just being aresholes, of course )


Not for most Aussies because most of us live in the densely populated SE corner of the country. I do. It's not 300 miles to the next down. If I go West, the next town big enough for a supermarket is 170 miles. South is only 50 miles and north is only 35 miles. That covers it for me because there are only 3 roads.

Of course I do ride 500 miles return for dinner with my daughter. (Equal to Edinburgh to Sheffield, have dinner and ride home or New York to Washington, dinner and home.) Don't tell Elderly Cynic that I do it on an electric motorcycle. So yeah, for me a 500 mile trip is pretty trivial.


"Of course I do ride 500 miles return for dinner with my daughter. (Equal to Edinburgh to Sheffield, have dinner and ride home or New York to Washington, dinner and home.) Don't tell Elderly Cynic that I do it on an electric motorcycle. "

Only if you promise not to tell anyone that I did 500 miles round-trip in a day in a Nissan Leaf to drop off my elderly mothers Christmas present. Most difficult part of it was explaining why I wanted to plug my car in...


...north is only 35 miles.

This January there was some news going on in my state and I had trouble explaining to other Americans that there simply weren't vast emergency response services just waiting to descend on the scene of the drama. The nearest town was 30 miles away and had a population of 5,000; everything else was much farther away.

Perhaps Australians would have been quicker to believe me. Europeans could reasonably be forgiven for having to get used to the idea that there's nothing for fifty clicks in any direction.


Your secret that electrics are a completely practical replacement for dinoburners is safe with me.


I recall the CEO or chairman of Diebold, in maybe 2004, saying something to the effect the Repblican party must win the upcoming general election, whatever it took. I'm sure I am not quoting accurately, but that was the sense of it.

Diebold makes American voting machines.


Now that 2016 is over, let's revisit some assumptions from 2012.

In 2012, there was the opinion that Hispanic voters were going to turn several states Blue. What happened? I was still lurking on this blog at the time, but here was the prediction I made to my friends back then:

About a fifth of Latinos are undocumented immigrants. Also, over half of us-born Latinos are too young to vote. I can't find the statistics from back then, but here is an updated version

Probably a large fraction of those are the children of undocumented workers, the "anchor babies". It was assumed back then that as these children came of voting age, they would be reliable blue voters with high turnout on account of their parents' status.

Many people took that projection and assumed that it would apply in the 2016 election. It didn't. Why?

It will probably take several posts to get my ideas out there



  • There hasn't been enough time for the children-of-undocumented-immigrant population to grow up. Take the following chart, and add 20 years

    That is a rough approximation as to when the eldest child is likely eligible to vote. Note that I don't have a way to quickly model the second child.

  • Minority immigrants in general are concentrated in a few states. People will note that those states include Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although that is true, the bulk of non-black minorities live in states which are already very Blue. An increasing minority population will just make those states more Blue.

  • Baby boomers are retiring. As you've seen from the Wikipedia article, the Non-Hispanic White (NHW) population has had very small growth between 2010 and 2012. Furthermore, a lot of states have experienced a decline in the NHW population in absolute numbers. However, that is due to Baby Boomers retiring, not necessarily to births - deaths. A 2016 Trump voter in New York has a different electoral power than the same 2020 Trump voter in Florida or Arizona. I don't know if the retiring population will completely cancel out the rise of minority populations, but it should check it.

  • A lot of Blue states have the demographics which could appeal to a Trump-style populists. I personally doubt that a Trump-style candidate without the sexual assault would have won merely a narrow win in Michigan. If you look at the statistics, Trump was also close in Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, and New Hampshire.

  • Liberal NHW are leaving Red States and moving to Blue States for the opportunities there. In other words, conservative NHWs are leaving California and New York and liberal NHW are moving in. In the electoral college, that matters. Liberal NHW are also moving into some swing states should ameliorate this somewhat.

  • 497:

    USSA Grenzpolizei are giving returning Canadians hassle?

    I've had friends detained for questioning (separately) and denied access to communications. A middle-aged white male businessman "treated like a criminal" (fingerprinting, strip search, and teardown of his luggage). And of course Peter Watts discovered that being too slow dropping to the ground after being punched in the face and maced is a felony.

    The odds are good that nothing would happen. But if I'm going to visit a state with strong police powers, I might as well go to China. Lots more culture and history, better food, and when I encountered their security police (I was accidentally in a restricted military zone) they were polite.


    Roman Catholic Church. A reliable backer of Fascism, almost everywhere ... Is the revolting answer to that question, I'm afraid ....


    An interesting analysis, deeper than typical, about the whole "NATO expansion to the East" thing that normally sets the pair of us off :)


    Question. Is P Watts able to visit the USSA any more - after he was criminally assaulted & mistreated by the Grenzpolezei? Yes, I know that "had" to find him technically guilty of the most minor charge (actually they didn't but that's what happeend) ... not a good precedent for anyone.

    501: 441: "Oh, and yeah: That's Hotel California if you want to keep the score."

    LOL. Funny that you move The House of the Rising Sun to California and make a hotel out of it.

    Would you like me to give you the details on the other pieces that can be heard until the end credits? Bonus points if you can correctly identify the music that is heard during the end credits (without googling, in under ten minutes, and drunk, of course). It gives some interesting context.


    "#1 UK

    2 USA 3 CAN"

    LOL. I refer you to the link in #489 and make some slight corrections to your numbers:

    8 UK 16 USA 23 CAN 451: "The Power of an Empire backed Passport…"

    LOL. You mean like the Empires who are ahead of the UK on the passport index? Like Sweden, Finland, Switzerland or South Korea? Or like the other Empires that still come ahead of the US? Like Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium or Norway?

    I know, I know, thatsthejoke.jpg, right?


    No. As well, the status of "convicted felon" makes it more difficult to travel to other countries as well.


    You read tyhe rankings wrong. UK fourth equal USA tenth equal Canada about thirteenth equal. (I may have miscounted on this one)


    For someone with a classics background, I am surprised Scathach nUanaid did not just use "civis Romanus sum." A lot more people would have gotten the point pretty quickly.

    I could be wrong but did not one of SU's personae recently assure us HRC was going to win?

    To be clear, I am not one of those opposed to her presence here. Sometimes I find her interesting, sometimes not. Sometimes I don't understand her and sometimes I think she's just wrong. Sometimes I agree with her. Kind of how I relate to most people.


    I took the individual rank, which makes a distinction between visa-free and visa-on-arrival. These two are added together for the visa-free-score of the global ranking.

    Anyway, regardless of scoring details, the #1 spot is taken unambiguously by Germany. UK, USA and CAN follow some way further down.


    As a serious aside after a splurge.

    Arton Capital is the usual go-to reference for the utility of passports. If you measure it by lack-of-VISA requirement only, you'll get a list was linked to: they're done in Ranks, not linear numbers. By Arton's metrics, UK is now Rank 3, USA is now Rank 4; Germany Rank 1, Sweden Rank 2. ( has already been linked to). They were Rank 1 and 2 in 2015.

    There's other metrics that can be used, of course.

    On the black market, Syrian, Italian and Greek origins (both EU) are the most popular:

    EU’s passport fraud ‘epidemic’ Polico, Jan 2016.

    I was talking about a different metric, which isn't too public - which is UK/USA, for sure, at the top.


    I could be wrong but did not one of SU's personae recently assure us HRC was going to win?

    The FBI explicitly broke the rules; Weiner had already been played as a Game piece, using him again as justification for an attack is a no-no. Especially an email re-run.

    If you're going to cheat, it doesn't really matter being accurate or smart or having good policies or how well you played the Game. You might as well just drop all pretense that you're being civil, and get dirty. e.g. tinker with FB code to send a message to Mr Zuckerberg.

    Sidney Blumenthal calls the FBI's actions a "soft coup" (YT: Dutch News, 9:23, Nov 11th 2016) - he just went on record with that, and also linked the FBI to Putin (! Live Fire !)

    Sidney Blumenthal is the one from the Wikileaks emails warning DC about potential unrest, and a long term 'special advisor' to Clinton, esp. regarding Libya:

    If I were a Democrat running in MI, OH, PA, etc next year, and I didn't want to be drowned attached to Obama, I would run on it. I could tell you how it could be done, up to talking about how our policy subsidizes a slave labor system that is destroying American families--half slave, half free, etc. Someone is going to figure this out. If Democrats don't do it, Republicans will figure out a toxic xenophobic version that could even turn CA given its history. As I understand it, State helped shut down Geithner's early view delivered in his confirmation testimony on this matter. This new politics is coming, one way or another, including "rough beast" form.

    From: Sidney Blumenthal To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2009 Wikileaks. [WARNING: direct link to illegally obtained material, which could possibly invalidate security clearances and/or cause issues if viewed at work]

    And yes, I did just kinda set that up a little.


    Oh, and Casino - Theme De Camille by Georges Delerue from Le Mépris.


    If you wanted a comment that was serious: UK/USA are the finance heavies, which is where I was drawing the ranking from.

    I'm still trying to crunch out just how planned this all was, and if it's a very very clever move to balance Global unrest in 10 years or so.

    China warns Trump against abandoning climate change deal FT Nov 11th 2016

    If China has really committed / cracked what they're claiming (China's 'Artificial Sun' achieves fusion breakthrough People's Daily, Nov 3rd, 2016 - basically China's version of RT for reference) and it's better than the German models, then could be interesting.

    Not a scientist, but apparently the German plasma stuff is far better. But China is making noise it's in that Game now.

    And, of course: Fusion Weapons make Nukes seem quaint.


    FYI: Fusion bomb exists from the 50s

    Hydrogen bomb is fusion process started by fission. There were others too. The reason why fusion as an energy source takes so long is because it is hard to contain all the heat/energy necessary to start and maintain the process. Basically, it is easy to blow up fusion bomb but to control the process is hella of job.

    However fusion as an easy, cheap, powerful energy source is a world controlling power like having a hydroelectric plant when everyone has to burn wood chips for their energy. Game-changer.


    Charlie, if you're still reading I figure you may find this amusing:

    Not encouraging, mind you, but amusing.


    The classic case for best passports is to reverse the situation - what is the best passport to get INTO the hard countries, like North Korea, Iran, former soviet states, etc.

    The usual answer is German, French, Swedish and Swiss - arms manufacturers and good engineers are always in demand, and pissing off your banker is usually a bad idea.

    Although ironically my grandmother was one of the first westerners into North Korea, as a geriatric Australian on a goodwill visit, so who knows.


    I'd second that on China.

    US officials are rude, intrusive and difficult to deal with, even for someone who passes as white.

    Chinese are the opposite. Border checks are efficient and polite. I also wandered into a restricted area and stood around taking photos. I was very politely asked to stop taking photos (without having to remove the film from my camera) and asked to move along.

    When the Chinese want to keep tabs on you, the tail is hardly noticeable and is as much about keeping you out of trouble as anything else. (I think it may have been my tail who appeared from no-where to ask me to stop taking photos)

    I also felt completely safe everywhere, unlike the US. A country that still holds slaves and who gets them by grabbing peo